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December 9 -- The Promise HAS Come

Good morning, we continue our Advent journey through the first two chapters of the Gospel of Luke. Today we look at Mary's visit to Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-56).

Luke 1:39-56 – Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40 where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42 and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43 And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44 For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.” 46 And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. 50 His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. 51 He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. 52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; 53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, 55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.” 56 And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.

It’s possible that Mary went to visit Elizabeth for a very practical reason – she wanted to see if the words of the angel that she encountered were true, that Elizabeth in her old age was going to have a baby. It was a reasonable action. Yet, what Mary (and all of us) find is this meeting is anything but practical or reasonable by normal standards.

The supernatural immediately breaks onto the scene. As soon as Mary walks in the door, we are told that the child in Elizabeth’s womb “leaped” (From verse 56 we can assume that Elizabeth was six months pregnant with John at the time).

How astonished both Elizabeth and Mary must have been. A child, in the womb, leaped for joy because somehow, he sensed that he was now in the presence of the one he would prepare the world for – even though that child was still in the womb too!

Mary, whose faith was incredibly deep and perceptive, immediately breaks into a song of prophecy and joy. These famous words in verses 46-55 are called “The Magnificat.”

The one thing that has always caught my eye and captured my heart in this song is not only the words, but the tense. Notice when Mary talks about what the Lord will do in the future through the life and ministry of this child, she speaks about it as if it has already happened. She uses the past tense!

What a proclamation of faith! Even though the moment of the Messiah’s coming has NOT yet come, Mary conclusion is this: “Because the Lord has proclaimed it, IT SHALL BE SO!

We are all given a lot of promises from God in the Scripture, promises that should fill our hearts with hope and joy. Yet, sometimes in the struggles of day to day living, we forget these promises. We get caught up in the darkness of different events, and it clouds our vision.

Today, Mary calls us to see God’s promises once again – and this time to see them not only as a hope, but a promise, and not only a promise but a guarantee!

Will Jesus love us? Will Jesus save us? Will Jesus be with us? Will Jesus help us through all things? Will we be safe? Will our families? Will we make it through this time? The answer from Mary isn’t just that Jesus will – but Jesus already has! And therefore, even on cloudy days we can rest assured that hope is present and joy will be birthed. Because we know in time, we will be able to sing and dance, this enables us to sing and dance right now!

Glory be to God for all the wonderful promises he provides to us!

~ God bless, Dan

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