While Jesus was still in the womb, a Spirit-filled woman joyously announced the immensity of His coming. Elizabeth welcomed his mother Mary into her home with wonder and worship, while carrying her own miracle baby that would be John the Baptist.
As you prepare your heart for a new Advent season and for a new year, I invite you to momentarily set aside any grocery shopping lists, Black Friday sales, or activity planning from your mind.
Let’s zero in on the example of Elizabeth, whose reaction to the Lord Jesus reminds us of the true glory of Christmas. Her acts of faith can also be echoed by us, if we meditate on this portion of the Word and pursue it this holiday season.
Here are 3 ways we can share Elizabeth’s joy and wonder this Christmas:
Pour Out Praises
“And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! ” Luke 1:41-42
Much mystery surrounded Christ’s conception and impending birth, and yet Elizabeth immediately understood the gravity of Mary’s situation.
This was because she was overcome by the work of the Holy Spirit. And what work did the Spirit do? He caused her to exuberantly proclaim truth.
Elizabeth’s Spirit-led worship was a unique case to confirm Jesus as the Savior and perhaps encourage Mary. Even so, we have to remember that as believers the same Spirit dwells in us. He can empower us to supernaturally praise, even if Christmas is laced with difficulty.
Be honest with yourself, are you truly excited for Christmas? And not merely about the gifts or traditions?
Maybe the overwhelm of preparations has you down, or maybe weighty trials challenged your family this year.
No matter what, decide to declare each day in December (and afterward) the wonder of what’s being celebrated – Christ came to save the world. To bring light to the darkness. To make hope real.
Let’s be excited like Elizabeth! Sing Christmas hymns with gusto and ponder the lyrics in your heart. Tell your children the Christmas story with delight in your voice. Don’t be afraid to graciously share with non-believing friends and family why Christmas is so special to you.
Practice Awe-filled Gratitude
“And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. ” Luke 1:43-44
Couldn’t we ask Elizabeth’s question in our own way with equal awe?
Why was it granted that my Lord should come and save a sinner like me? What a gift above all gifts!
This is the question that we must ask over and over in the days of celebration ahead. Every time we wake to a new day there’s a new wave of grace. A new opportunity for wonder. Christ came. And He will come again. Elizabeth relished the moment, and we can too.
Elizabeth had the added gift of feeling baby John kick with knowledge of Christ’s nearness. To think, even an unborn babe knew the Savior had come! This can peak wonder in our own hearts, as we share the true meaning of Christmas with the next generation.
Simple, humble thankfulness over the arrival of Christ for the unworthy can send away any disappointment or discouragement we may be feeling.
Prompt Others to Trust His Promises
“And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” Luke 1:45
I should say first that Elizabeth’s beautiful statement can prompt you to trust in God’s promises. Being blessed goes deeper than being surrounded by a mountain of presents, a happy family, or a picture-perfect home.
True blessedness is found in knowing Jesus and His faithfulness.
When we realize this, we not only nurture Spirit-filled peace in our own hearts, but can encourage it in others. Let’s be encouragers like Elizabeth.
We can be the voice that reminds:
. . .our daughter that nothing can separate her from the love of Christ.
. . .our friend that Jesus will return yet again to wipe away every tear.
. . .our son that God will complete the good work He is doing in his life.
. . .our unbelieving relative that Christ fully forgives every single sin through the cross.
. . .our neighbor that God listens to the prayer of the righteous.
Those are priceless gifts we can give this Christmas and everyday.