Welcoming with Love and Joy
Text: Luke 1:26-56
36 Now listen! Elizabeth, your relative, is very old. But she is also pregnant with a son. Everyone thought she could not have a baby, but she has been pregnant for six months. 37 God can do everything!”
38 Mary said, “I am the servant girl of the Lord. Let this happen to me as you say!” Then the angel went away.
39 Mary got up and went quickly to a town in the mountains of Judea. 40 She went to Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the unborn baby inside Elizabeth jumped. Then Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 She cried out in a loud voice, “God has blessed you more than any other woman. And God has blessed the baby which you will give birth to. 43 You are the mother of my Lord, and you have come to me! Why has something so good happened to me? 44 When I heard your voice, the baby inside me jumped with joy. 45 You are blessed because you believed what the Lord said to you would really happen.”
Mary Praises God
46 Then Mary said,
“My soul praises the Lord;
47 my heart is happy because God is my Savior.
48 I am not important, but God has shown his care for me, his servant girl.
From now on, all people will say that I am blessed,
49 because the Powerful One has done great things for me.
His name is holy.
50 God will always give mercy
to those who worship him.
51 God’s arm is strong.
He scatters the people who are proud
and think great things about themselves.
52 God brings down rulers from their thrones,
and he raises up the humble.
53 God fills the hungry with good things,
but he sends the rich away with nothing.
54 God has helped his people Israel who serve him.
He gave them his mercy.
55 God has done what he promised to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his children forever.”
56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.
Mary was in an unexpected situation when the angel told her that she was going to have a baby that would be Jesus. When she was in this unusual situation she was greeted with great joy and love from Elizabeth and Elizabeth’s unborn baby when she arrived.
Have you ever been in a situation where people could react in a variety of ways but only reacted with support, love and joy? This advent season, let’s all be Elizabeths and react with love and joy when people in difficult situations are in front of us.
Hi God! Please help us to all welcome others with love and joy like Elizabeth welcomed Mary. Amen.
Focus for the Day: Welcoming with Love and Joy
Author: Rachel Dudley, Director of Children’s Ministry