Christmas in today’s world has become a machine that cranks out sales, stress and stuff. I love December and the holiday season and every year I wish I had less to do and more time to focus on the important stuff. I almost want to hide away in my house. As we look at Christmas through their eyes today there is someone who did just that, Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist.
Elizabeth and her husband, Zechariah, were very old and childless. Zach heads to Jerusalem to serve in the temple and gets a visit from Gabe. Gosh, this angel has the coolest job – I think we could give him the title of Gender Reveal Angel. Zach questions the angel and is unable to speak until the baby is born. He somehow conveys the message to Elizabeth and scripture says this, “How kind the Lord is!” she exclaimed. “He has taken away my disgrace of having no children.” (Luke 1:25)
What might have Liz felt in these 5 months of silence and seclusion?
In the 6th month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, Gabe visits Mary and shares her miracle pregnancy along with her cousin Elizabeth’s miracle baby. Mary heads to visit Liz and we see an incredible moment of generosity from these 2 women. Don’t miss the beauty of this Christmas moment – 2 women, one very old and one very young. Both are pregnant with baby boys, but one would serve the other. Both women would never have grandchildren from these sons and both men would give their lives for the gospel. Both mamas would lose something most precious to them and mourn their firstborn sons. Elizabeth could’ve been jealous of Mary’s opportunity to experience motherhood early on, but she didn’t.
What do we learn from this part of the Christmas story for our lives today?
- Waiting is worth it.
- There is always an opportunity for envy (desiring what someone else has or does), but instead we can choose generosity.
- Personal reflection is worth it. Silence can prepare and heal us for the calling God has given us.
We also consider the traveling mamas on this episode. I don’t believe Mary and Joseph traveled alone to Bethlehem for the census. Others had to go too and I’m sure they went in groups because it was safer. What if there were other mamas on the journey with Mary who saw her pregnant state and extended small bits of kindness? It made me consider myself and our lives today. How often are we bustling around, bumping into people, that may have something incredibly significant happening? Do we pass them by because we’re too self-involved or do we stop to take notice of others and help when we can? What can our small tokens of help mean to someone in need? I think Mary experienced some on her journey and she would encourage us to do the same today!
Galatians 6:2, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
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