When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.
My beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved... and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of life. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
Elizabeth, Zechariah's faithful wife, and Mary, Christ's unwed mother, were cousins who experienced overlapping and extraordinary pregnancies. Elizabeth was old. Mary was young.
Each needed friendship, and God provided the opportunity for sweet fellowship.
If the joy of the Lord is our strength, then our strength is increased by shared joy.* When the Holy Spirit moves through a group of people in harmony with God and each other, we feel it. AMTC's SHINE Conference was a real-world example of supernatural joy.
One young performer said on camera, 'SHINE feels like Heaven.' When a family walked back into their NYC apartment after SHINE, the daughter said, 'This doesn't feel like home. I think we just left it.'
The Old Testament is sprinkled with gatherings of great joy: 'The entire assembly of Judah rejoiced... including the foreigners who had come... There was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the days of Solomon son of David king of Israel there had been nothing like this' (2 Chronicles 30:25-26, NKJV).
The New Testament is brightened by gatherings of joy: 'Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children' (Matthew 14:21, NKJV).
'So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart' (Acts 2:46, NKJV).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Stay united, 'Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching' (Hebrews 10:25, NIV). The Day? The return of Jesus.
When you find a faithful church in a faithless world, continue in its fellowship.
When you find lovely performers in a loveless world, continue in their fellowship.
Your brothers and sisters in Christ will help you stay the course in times of hardship and confusion.
## Fellowship: The Joy! (Part 1)
* Nehemiah 8:10: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=nehemiah+8%3A10&version=NKJV
NOTE: This series is a republished edit of a 2015 series called, 'Fellowship'. In these devotions, you may see notes to 'Actors, Models & Talent for Christ.' I have not changed this designation. Because in a greater sense, every disciple of Christ acts for Christ, models Christ and stewards His talents, from which God expects a profit.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Fellowship series.