December 13: Elizabeth’s Joy, Advent Day 18

Read Luke 1:5-71:24-25, 39-45

When Jesus came in to Elizabeth’s life, she cried out for joy.

She’d been keeping herself hidden, secretly rejoicing at what she knew to be God’s hand that had allowed her to conceive.

“Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people” (v. 25).

She’d been walking blamelessly for years upon years. Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah the priest had been barren, though, and were well past child-bearing years. So when she conceived the baby that Zechariah had been promised by God through Gabriel, Elizabeth must have thought it best to just stay inside and not stir up the townspeople any more than was necessary.

I find it intriguing how grateful she was for the Lord having taken away her reproach  among people even while staying hidden from them for the first five months of her pregnancy.

But that all changed when Mary showed up with Jesus in her belly. As soon as she heard her cousin’s voice, John started doing flips in utero and Elizabeth yelled out a blessing with great exclamation. She went from hidden to loud in a matter of seconds.

“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” (v. 42).

As soon as Jesus arrived, Elizabeth’s secret joy became a joyful exclamation of praise for God’s hand at work in the lives of her family members. She could no longer stay hidden, as her belly was likely protruding by now.

God’s like that, isn’t He? Almost as if He was happy to let Elizabeth and Zechariah keep this secret joy between themselves. But now it was time to let others in on the promise. Time to let other people share in the joy of a barren womb now come to life.

It was time to let mankind in on the promise from heaven of the One True God coming to save His people from sin and darkness and dread and pain.

I wonder if others could see such a change in us if they knew the ways God has heard and answered our own prayers? Would they see the joy? Would we keep it hidden for a time? Or would we shout it out and sing praise to the One who hears and knows and saves us from our deepest hurts?

brw

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