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A few days later after the angel met with Mary

A few days later after the angel met with Mary, she hurried to the hill country of Judea to see Elizabeth.
I am not sure how far that was to walk but it says she hurried, so it was a fast exit out of Galilee to Judea.
The story unfolds like this in Luke 1:
When Elizabeth saw Mary and greeted her, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Elizabeth gave a good cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed.
Why am I so honored, that the Mother of my Lord should visit me? When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy.
You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.”
Now let us stop for a second.
This is Elizabeth, a relative of Mary’s who has known her all her life. Can you imagine the moment between them?
Mary’s response to her was amazing.
It is called the Magnificat: Mary’s song of praise
Found in Luke 1:46-56
When she was finished with her praise and honor she stayed with Elizabeth; about three months and then went back to her own home.
I am not sure about her own family, or her responses from Joseph or even how the news was received.
What I do know is the angel met with Joseph.
In the book of Matthew chapter 1 vs 19
Joseph, her fiancé was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.
As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream.
“Joseph, Son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife.
For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit.
And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
(fulfilling prophecy from the Old Testament)
Perhaps while Mary was visiting Elizabeth John was born, the time frame would certainly be about right for the delivery.
A few days later, after the angel met with Mary she left to be with Elizabeth.

When Elizabeth was six months along

When Elizabeth was six months along with John, an angel met with Mary who was engaged to be married to Joseph.
Gabriel appeared to her in Luke 1:28 and he said, “greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!”
Now we must stop for a second and remember she was only 16, not quite a woman; but God knew.
It said she was, confused and disturbed as she thought about what the angel had said to her.
Wouldn’t that be the normal response when hearing a greeting like that?
The other thing to remember women who were pregnant and not married were often stoned to death.
It was a serious issue not only for her, for Joseph and their families involved.
She must have had many questions and concerns.
Then the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God!
You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.
He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High.”
Mary asked the angel, “How can this happen? I am a virgin.”
The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
So the baby to be born will be holy, and will be called the Son of God.
What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age!
People used to say she was barren, but now she is in her sixth month.
For nothing is impossible with God.”
Mary’s response to the angel was, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true,”
Then the angel left her.
{I truly think the angel brought the news about Elizabeth to Mary, so she would believe more intensely and with more reality.
She knew Elizabeth was old and barren. She also knew she must go see her and see for herself what the angel had said.}
When Elizabeth was six months along with John, Mary went to visit her.

It was all taking place to complete the story

It was all taking place to complete the story.
When I think of the Christmas story; I am in awe and in amazement of the amount of players that were used to create the scenes.
It is orchestrated like a screen play with every one doing every little part, to make the whole, story complete.
God was so wise to use a simple teenager, and a humble man.
It was perhaps a love story that would be tested from the moment the angel met with Mary.
She was a teen, so young and being told. “You are to be the chosen one.”
She had a tender heart full of acceptance and honor.
Can you even imagine how it started? Being startled by an angel in the room?
“Don’t be afraid.” (Of course he would have to say that!) I would be terrified.
I have always been amazed over the fact that the angel spoke in a language Mary could understand.
We don’t think of angels having language or sound other than singing.
I wonder if sometimes WE get an angel among us telling us things that we hear, but not realizing Who was telling us?
Mary was the chosen one to be the Mother of Jesus.
In Luke 1: The story is written and played out and it unravels with each and every character.
The beginning of it began with Zechariah and Elizabeth who were relatives of Mary.
It was the miracle before the miracle.
Their son, John would be born before Jesus.
Elizabeth was barren for many years and then Zechariah was told they would have a son.
He didn’t believe the angel and so the angel told him to be quiet until the birth took place.
I don’t blame him for doubting, that would be the reaction of many in the same situation.
But God… can do miracles.
A miracle before the miracle.
When I think of the Christmas story I am always in awe of the details and the obedience.
It was all taking place to complete the story so the day of delivery could happen.

It’s a day for giving thanks

It’s a day for giving thanks.
Thanksgiving day. I remember so many holidays filled with food on the table, children and family.
This year will be different.
We will still cook the meal, the fresh frozen turkey that we ordered is thawing.
Picked up already made pumpkin pies from a local market we like, plus all the trimmings.
We have figured on line grocery shopping out and it is a new convenient way of getting what we need.
I will miss having family over.
I love the china and crystal and fancy table settings.
I love to use table cloths with napkins to match.
Sometimes fresh flowers too.
This year it will be only two of us and our two cats who get no treats.We will share our meal with a porch pick up for our grand daughter and her boyfriend.
We will also give a plate to our neighbor who is alone.
It’s such a different year we have to adapt to the new ideas.
It is a change that is hard but so necessary.
This virus and the need for staying home is affecting everyone.
I am not happy about it but I also know it’s very important to stay inside.
Our governor has stated there could be a fine if people were not listening to the rules.
Or even jail time. Which is quite ridiculous considering this is family time and a holiday.
It is kind of crazy the way this all has come out.
This virus is like none other and is very sneaky.
It is meant to do great harm.
Because I have cancer and radiation history I must be very careful.
Really all of us have to be careful.
One holiday won’t hurt us especially if we manage to keep ourselves safe.
I am thankful for family, for friends, for phone calls and texts that keep us together.
Thanksgiving, it’s a day for giving thanks.

May we be awake and alert

May we be awake and alert.
This last Sunday our Pastor was teaching on the book of Revelations; which is the last book of the New Testament of the Bible.
It is full of end times warnings, dreams, visions and teachings.
It is also sometimes very hard to understand without someone explaining it.
He mentioned that in our time and culture today we must remain awake and alert.
There are sneaky people who are trying to undermine the truth and principles we live by.
Our United States was made with a declaration of Independence that holds truth and values.
There are those who have tried to minimize truth, or twist it for their own good.
Like a false prophet they create their own rules that only benefits the agenda they preach.
Pastor was saying that we have become a tolerant society, who turns the other way when faced with facts.
When our grand daughter was born early she was in the NICU setting of the baby area.
Within that room they had babies of all sizes and with all health issues.
She was tiny. A whopping 2 pounds 11 ounces, but you know what? they had babies smaller than that.
I will never be a believer in abortion and I would NEVER be a believer of full term abortion.
A society who tolerates and agrees to infanticide is a scary place to be.
I do not believe in removing the elderly either.
Some countries have made it ok to do that. I pray that OUR USA would never come to that point.
What Pastor was saying; so much of this sneaks into the thoughts and the everyday; and we become numb.
It scares me to think of how different our USA has become in my lifetime and I don’t want to watch more.
Now with the pandemic of covid people are losing businesses, houses, vacations, and now holidays.
Our Oregon is in a mandatory lock down.
Families are struggling to find hope in this crazy time.
It could be very depressing but we have to believe that things will change.
I will choose to believe it will be better, that the dark works of the evil one will be exposed.
The truth will remain as a constant.
We cannot lose our strength and we cannot lose our freedoms.
Maybe it’s time for us to be on our knees and pray our prayers.
“Our Father who art in heaven HOLY is your name.”
Let us pray from a place of trust and hope.
May we be awake and alert.

rev