Scripture Reading: Luke 1:26-45
“And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.'” (Luke 1:41-45)
During this Christmas week, it seems right to go back to the songs of Christmas found in Luke’s gospel. We will look at the song of Elizabeth, the song of Mary, and the song of Simeon. All three songs focus on the blessings of Christmas — particularly the birth of Jesus Christ.
God sent the angel Gabriel to tell Mary that God had found favor with her and that she would conceive the very Son of God when the Holy Spirit would come upon her (vs. 26-35). He also told her that her cousin Elizabeth would bear a child in her old age (v. 36,37). After Mary received the news, she made a trip to see Elizabeth. When Mary greeted Elizabeth, the child in Elizabeth’s womb leaped and she was filled with the Holy Spirit. Moved by the Spirit, Elizabeth responded with words of joy.
“Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb” (v. 42). Elizabeth declared that the blessedness of her cousin was due to the blessedness of her Son. John Calvin wrote these words about the blessings of Mary — “To this day we cannot enjoy the blessing brought to us in Christ without thinking at the same time of that which God gave as adornment and honor to Mary, in willing her to be the mother of His only-begotten Son.”
“And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (v. 43) Notice the humility of Elizabeth. Not once in Elizabeth do you see any envy of Mary. Elizabeth was much older than Mary; yet this aged woman was deeply conscious of her own unworthiness and she genuinely rejoiced in the joy of her younger relative.
“For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy” (v. 44). Elizabeth interpreted the movement of the baby within her womb as being a sign of joy, this very joy became the evidence to her of the Lord’s presence in Mary’s womb.
“And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord” (v. 45). Elizabeth praised Mary for her faith. Mary trusted God and believed His word.
As we prepare for Christmas Day, let’s join our hearts in worship and praise for the One who was born of the virgin Mary, the One who brings great joy to all, just as He did to Mary and Elizabeth.
Lord Jesus, You are our joy. Your birth brought great joy to mankind. As we prepare for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, fill us with Your joy as we remember Your birth. May we honor and praise You as we consider the glory of the message of Christmas.
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