Advent Devotions

Monday, December 20

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

Luke 1:39-45

Several years ago, I spoke with one of my friends from Côte d’Ivoire, where they were living through another civil war. She said, “It’s just so sad. So, so sad. We are killing each other, and for what? For power? For money? What about life?”

And then she said this, “Instead of sending soldiers to resolve this conflict, they should have sent the mothers of those soldiers. While soldiers are trained to kill, it is in the nature of mothers to give life, to nurture, to care for the community.”

I’m struck by these two soon-to-be mothers from today’s passage, both having experienced shame from society—Mary because she became pregnant without marriage and Elizabeth because she was pregnant despite her old age.

Here they are, greeting each other, and it is in that moment that Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit. This journey of life is not meant to be taken alone. We are to support one another in our struggles and in our joy, to live in community with one another, and perhaps, together we might invite and be open to the Holy Spirit’s presence to fill us with joy!

Closing Practice

Think about who you turn to in times of struggle. Think about who turns to you. Hold them in your spirit and pray that God would bless them.

Copyright 2021 Abingdon Press • Used by permission.