As we continue to look at the Christmas story and the events surrounding the birth of Jesus we are struck by the abundant praise and joy. In 1:58 Elizabeth and her friends and relatives share the joy of the birth of their child. People’s spirits have been lifted because God is at work in their midst. They are not sure what God will do with John but no doubt God has a plan – 1:66. The key driver of all this praise and joy is the work of the Holy Spirit. We saw this with Elizabeth in 1:41-45. The Holy Spirit at work in our lives brings joy and praise. Of course this is a unique event with the birth of John and Jesus but Ephesians 5:18 encourages us ALL to keep on being filled with the Holy Spirit (that is the sense of the Greek). The Holy Spirit is especially active at key salvation points in God’s plan but in the New Testament we are informed that in the last days God will pour out His Spirit on all people – Acts 2:17-18. We cannot know God and follow Him without the work of the Holy Spirit. That is why Jesus says that we must be born again in John 3. It is interesting that in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 that Paul expects that we will be joyful always and this is linked to prayer and not putting out the Spirit’s fire. Ask the Lord to fill you daily with His Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God will remind You of Jesus and will grow God’s character in your lives, especially joy and love.