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December 8, 2020 Advent Reflection

Staying with Elizabeth

Before going home, Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months. Luke 1:56

It wasn't unusual for a pregnant teen to have to leave town, to get out of sight - to hide in shame. And avoiding shame could easily be the reason Mary's parent’s sent Mary to stay with her aunt & uncle. I was wondering how Mary might feel, on the long journey to Elizabeth and Zechariah’s house - choosing to say yes to God and not being understood.

Does that resonate? Have you tried to do the right thing and not been understood - even by people close to you? Have you tried to follow God's leading and others have seen it as something else?

Though the angel called Mary 'highly favoured’, it didn’t mean others would understand- or be supportive of her. God's leading, best intentions, even dramatic angelic encounters do not protect us from the sting of other’s response. But, in that moment, we get to make an offering to God - of our reputation. “God, I choose to obey even if….”

So, this is an important moment for Mary. As she goes to Elizabeth’s, is she going as a way of hiding? Will she allow herself to believe other’s responses and live in shame? Or will she believe what God said to her - he 'highly' favours her? In the same way, our belief about ourselves and our situation matters - what does God say about who we are? What does God ask us to do? And will God’s favour be enough for us?

Pause to Pray:

Whether this situation describes something you are experiencing right now, or perhaps a time now passed, we are still presented with the opportunity of making a beautiful offering to God: “No matter how people respond, I choose to say yes. And I embrace what you say about me.” Mary allowed her heart to stay soft and be open to God’s favour.

Will you pray her prayer today?

Because Mary chose God’s promises, it:

  • helped her expect God’s favour

  • helped her begin to see herself as wonderfully blessed

  • prepared her to receive Elizabeths’ blessing

  • allowed her to be mentored by the older wiser Elizabeth and Zechariah: trusting God’s word, carrying a child of promise, being faithful and hopeful during seasons of unanswered prayer

Today, begin prayer remembering who God says you are: in Christ you are chosen loved highly favoured you are the perfect person to carry Jesus into the world regardless of what others or your feelings say. Take some time giving thanks. And today, look for those God is bringing to help you, mentor and encourage you. YOU ARE HIGHLY FAVOURED

That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Cor 2:9

Shared by Rev Drew Maxwell


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