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Jesus and John, Mary and Elizabeth

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Luke 1:41-45
When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"

There is a story Jewish mothers tell each other. They say when the baby is in the womb, God tells the baby all the secrets of the world. Then when the babies are born, they forget everything they were told.

Elizabeth's baby, soon to be named John, jumped in the presence of Jesus now just as he did on the river thirty years later. This one most significant secret came back to him then. Jesus' presence filled people with the Holy Spirit. In his presence even while he waited in the womb, ignorance and confusion retreated. Satan cowered. His tools, usually so efficient in binding his human captives, fell worthless from his hands.

Elizabeth's confidence fills Mary too. "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!" Mary and Elizabeth are the two people on earth who know God's secret, and their joy knows no bounds.

What will these babies be like? As they grow into boys, will they play harder, study harder than other boys? When will Jesus begin his lonely divergence from the normal Jewish boy's life? As she watched the lambs being sacrificed, did she remember the prophecies that the messiah would be sacrificed for the sins of the people? Her son?

All would become clear. For now, with the Holy Spirit filling up their hearts, Mary and Elizabeth are happier than they can imagine.

Let me live like Mary, Lord, trusting you for every moment of the future and full of peace and confidence in the moment I am living now.

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