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Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Today’s Reading | Luke 1:39–55
In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”
And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.” (NRSV)
Though the mothers of John and Jesus meet, I think of the reaction of the two unborn children meeting. At Mary’s greeting, the baby Elizabeth was carrying leaped in her womb and she was suddenly filled with the Holy Spirit. The prophetic knowledge of Mary’s condition filled her lips with praise and thanksgiving to God for our coming Messiah. I’m sure it was overwhelming for Mary, who wasn’t married, to come to grips with the reality that she was carrying our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. Mary responded with faith, trust, and willingness. And once Mary embraced the way in which God was using her, she began praising God for his promises. We, as believers, know that God keeps God’s promises and brings them to completion.
Heavenly Father, I praise you and thank you for your Son, Jesus, who brings me joy, hope, and assurance that you are my promise keeper, that what you promise you will fulfill. Amen.
Written by Arlene Raine, member of Fourth Presbyterian Church
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