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Heaven came down and glory filled my soul

Thursday, December 21, 2000

Luke 1:39,56
"At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth...Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home."

It's no wonder that Mary went to visit her relative Elizabeth. The angel Gabriel told her that Elizabeth too had been touched by God. Elizabeth was six months pregnant despite her advanced age, and her husband had been silenced by the touch of an angel. Elizabeth may not have perceived this touch as entirely a blessing. Until Mary arrived.

Luke 1:41: "When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit." In Mary's presence, the electricity of God's loving presence transformed Elizabeth. And with that, the two women must have become confidants, sharing experiences that no one else around them would understand.

When a moment of galvanizing, spiritual recognition like this takes place between two people, heaven comes down to earth. Whatever aloneness I may have been experiencing disappears utterly. God's presence is palpable and nourishes me all the way from the inside out. There is nothing more precious that can happen between two people. A moment spent sharing God this way can be the basis for a lifelong friendship. It can happen with a parent, a child, a sibling, a partner, a friend, even a stranger. It is priceless.

Mary stayed nearly until Elizabeth's baby was delivered. When she went home, her own pregnancy was beginning to be visible. What would her parents say? What would Joseph do? What would happen next? She was ready for the questions. The intimacy shared by Mary, Elizabeth and the Holy Spirit had prepared Mary for whatever persecutions her world might present.

Lord, thank you for allowing us as men and women to encounter each other in your presence. Draw us closer to you, Lord, as we do.

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