25 Days of Advent

 

 

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Seeing Jesus Through the Eyes of the Christmas Story Characters

 

  ADVENT DAY 5: Dec. 5Elizabeth, the Mother of John the Baptist

 

  Devotional

 

Imagine the delight and joy in the lives of Zechariah and Elizabeth! Not only would they become parents after decades of despair and disbelief, but they would parent the last of the Old Testament prophets and a forerunner of the Messiah. Can you imagine?

 

Elizabeth could have complained that God waited too long. She could have thought that it would be harder to raise a child. She could have decided that she no longer wanted a child. She could have even balked at God's plans for her child’s life.

 

But she didn’t do any of those things. Instead, she turned and offered her praise back to God. She rejoiced over the blessing she was given and gave God the glory.

 

It’s interesting to note that the first thing Mary did after discovering she would be carrying God’s son was visit her cousin, Elizabeth. It's about a 100-mile journey from Nazareth to Elizabeth's house; Mary is not just scooting around the block to call on a relative. Luke tells us that she “hurried.”  Why? She just heard that Elizabeth was pregnant, too. Given the fact that she was so unlikely to be pregnant by human standards, Mary may have thought Elizabeth would be the most likely to believe her situation – pregnant while still a virgin. 

 

Mary needed someone to believe her, to rejoice with her, and to help her navigate the negative repercussions that were sure to come. She needed someone to help her figure out how to tell her fiancé that she was faithful but pregnant. Elizabeth provided spiritual, physical, and emotional support to Mary. She took Mary into her care when both women felt vulnerable and lonely, and the two were strengthened together. They rejoiced together in the “impossibility” that had become their reality.

 

Elizabeth's baby “leaped in her womb” when Mary entered the house and called a greeting. The words she spoke to Mary when they met show that Elizabeth knew that Mary had a very important baby growing inside her and that her baby would also have something to do with Mary's baby. Something she could only know because she, too, had been “filled with the Holy Spirit.”

 

Elizabeth is known for being the mother of John the Baptist, the spirit-filled prophet like Elijah who will prepare the way for Jesus. But Elizabeth is described as filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:41).

 

In his book Advent, Fleming Rutledge explains Elizabeth’s joy:

 

Elizabeth’s cry of supernatural joy has nothing to do with the ordinary human pleasure in contemplating the birth of a child. It is her response to that revelatory kick from John the Baptist, already vitalized by his destiny as “the prophet of the Most High.” … no phony innocence here, no sentimental glorification of motherhood, but the announcement of the turning point of world history – the entrance of God himself on the human scene.

 

The story of Elizabeth and Zechariah shows us that God can be trusted. His timing may not be the same as ours, but God will never lead us into something He won’t equip us for. He will not tell us to give away without supplying the means.

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Look Up – Connect with God

Read:  Luke 1:36-56

 

Key Verse:  “Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me?” (Luke 1:43)

 

Pray:  Lord, give me the faith of Elizabeth to rejoice in your plans for me and my family and to faithfully walk in those plans no matter how difficult they may seem. Also, please help me see others who need encouragement, mentoring, and support. May I reach out with your love in their time of need?

 

 

Look In – Family Memories

Discuss: Talk about these three important lessons to learn from the story of Elizabeth and Zechariah:

               Being barren is not a curse. The ultimate calling of a woman is not that of motherhood. Many barren women are in the Bible, and God always blesses them. Not always with a child, but He always blesses them. While children are a blessing, our ultimate calling is to bring glory and honor to God.

               God's timing is perfect. Elizabeth fully saw the hand of God in her life and rejoiced over His plan for her. Is there something in your life that makes you wonder what God is doing?

                You can trust God. This story builds our trust in God. When God proclaims something over our lives, or we read something in the Bible, we need to trust Him.

  

Activity: 

  Advent Tree: make or select an ornament of an angel and put it on the tree. Download Ornaments or Ornaments Ideas

  Advent Garland: place the key verse on a paper/card, assign #1, and attach it to the garland twine. Key Verses

  Advent Cards: select a card and see the activity (i.e., decorate the Christmas decorations). Family Activities

 

Look Out – Connect with Others

 

Visit someone in a nursing home or a neighbor who could use some company. Bring a meal or treats to someone who’s not feeling well or recovering from surgery. Be a neighbor!.