Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 5, 2019
How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail. Luke 1:34-37 (NIV)
As I reflect upon the news shared with Mary by the angel, I am mindful of the fact that Mary and Elizabeth are at the opposite ends of the journey of life. Mary, a young virgin as young as 12 or 13, and Elizabeth, a barren woman who traditionally is believed to have been as old as 88! As symbolic bookends to life’s journey, these two women in a profound way show us that God, through the work of the Holy Spirit, brings new life to every corner of creation, even in the most unlikely and unexpected of places.
On one level, there is an immediate historic reality to these stories that should never be dismissed or discounted, nor should we shy away from their miraculous nature. Mary was truly a virgin who bore the Lord Jesus into the world, and Elizabeth was truly well beyond the age for child bearing, yet found herself six months pregnant. However, as we read these stories two thousand years later, their combined witness reminds us of the truth that God speaks life into the most impossible of places, relationships, and situations.
Each and every one of us carries in our soul the wounds of broken relationships and the pain of unmet expectations and lost dreams. As Christians we learn to live in places of tension, acknowledging the brokenness of our world and lives, and yet holding fast to the hope that God speaks life where there is death, peace where there is chaos, and joy where there is despair.
I wonder, can you and I find our own place within the family story of God’s people told in Luke 1? With Mary on one side and Elizabeth on the other, can we look back to the long line of people who have born witness to their hope in God in their own day, trusting that God will, by the empowering presence of his Spirit, give us the strength and courage to do the same in our own?
Father, remind us through the witness of Mary and Elizabeth that you bring life to every part of your creation, even our own situations, impossible and hopeless as they may seem. Remind us that you keep your promises and never leave or forsake us, through Christ our Lord, amen.
How can you cling to hope and the promises of God even in the midst of pain, sorrow, or loss?
God speaks life into the most impossible of places, relationships, and situations. #stopdoing #familyrelations
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