April 18 – Jesse Tree – Joy and Celebration

Read Luke 1:39-56

“[Elizabeth] exclaimed: ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!’” Luke 1:42

“And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord.’” Luke 1:46

There were a few things that Elizabeth and Mary had in common. Both of them were going to have a baby. Both of them were going to give birth to a boy. Both of them were somehow from the same family tree.

In spite of their similarities, there were things that were much different between the two. Elizabeth was much older than Mary. Elizabeth was married, while Mary was engaged. Mary’s baby was the direct result of the Holy Spirit’s intervention, while Elizabeth’s was the result of her love for her husband. Mary’s baby was going to be more important as the Savior of the world, while Elizabeth’s baby would play a key role in pointing people towards Jesus.

It is that last difference of the future importance of their children that could have created feelings of jealousy for Elizabeth. She could have wished that her baby boy was more than a messenger. But instead, when she met together with Mary, she was able to celebrate with her. When you find yourself struggling with jealousy, you can overcome it by deciding to celebrate with the other person rather than wishing you had what they have!

But the fact that Jesus was going to be more important than John could have caused Mary to be prideful. After all, her baby boy was the long-awaited Savior of the world! Instead, Mary understood that God was the One who was great. He was the One who should be honored. When you find yourself starting to become prideful, remember that it is God who has provided you with abilities, opportunities, and resources!

Steve Kern

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