The Gift of Our People

by Dec 15, 2019Christmas, Christmas 2019, Devotional

In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. ~ Luke 1:39, 40

Who is your person? The one you go to when your plans have gone to pot or your life has jumped the rails? Most of us have a person or a few persons. These are your “ride or die” people, the ones who you know are there for you no matter what. Whoever this person or these people are for you, they provide the gifts of comfort and perspective. They help us see possibilities when we only see obstacles; they help us find light in our dark places and walk with us towards it. Their encouragement and presence gives us hope and anchors us to the joy of Father even when we’re not sure how to navigate the circumstances of our lives.

When Mary received the news that she would be the Mother of “the Son of the Most High” who would, “reign over the House of Jacob forever,” I imagine it was more than a little overwhelming. The incredible blessing of Gabriel’s announcement was evident, but it also came with real difficulty. She was facing complex and confusing questions. What would this mean for her betrothal to Joseph? How could she explain this to people? How would she carry the social stigma that would fall on her and her child as one who became pregnant out of wedlock? Mary’s ambivalence is evident in her response to Gabriel, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord, let it be to me according to your word.” Mary accepts this blessing without complaint, but it is clear that she isn’t quite sure how to feel about it. She needed her person. Elizabeth was her person.

And so Mary arose and went as fast as she could to see Elizabeth, who helped Mary focus on the amazing gift she has been given. As one who lived for years with the stigma of not having a child, Elizabeth was perfectly positioned to remind Mary of just what God can do through the humble and the marginalized. Through Elizabeth’s presence and perspective, Mary’s confusion about her calling was transformed into joy. Mary’s community with Elizabeth anchored her in the goodness of God, making the unanswered questions seem insignificant in comparison to the joy of what God was doing in her life. And Mary’s heart sang!

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.”

One of the miracles of Christmas is how God included and invited people into the presentation of His Son to the world. He used everyday activities and relationships. He even provided for the needs of those He called through these relationships. God knew Mary would need help processing everything that was happening to her and so it is Gabriel who points Mary to her person, to Elizabeth. God knew Mary would need her person to fully embrace the joy of what He was doing in her life. God knows that we need our people to help us do the same.

Read Luke 1:39-56

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