January 15, 2020 - A tale of two women, one old and barren, the other young barely old enough to marry.
A man, Zechariah and his wife, Elizabeth of the daughters of Aaron, were growing old without child as Elizabeth had been barren all of her life.
As Zechariah served in the temple, an angel of the Lord came to him, an angel called Gabriel, telling him that his wife would conceive and have a son and that he would call his name John.
Being old and without child Zechariah asked for more proof of how he would know this to be true.
"And the angel answered him, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and bring you this good news." (Luke 1:19)
Elizabeth did indeed conceive but kept herself hidden from view from the people of the town.
"In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgins name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you." (Luke 1:26-28)
As one might expect, Mary was shocked at the sight of this angel and at his words to her and so Gabriel said the her.
"Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." (Luke 1:30-33)
Gabriel then told Mary that Elizabeth was six months pregnant with a son, even this one that had been barren.
"For nothing will be impossible with God. And Mary said, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word. And the angel departed from her." (Luke 1:37-38)
No hesitation from Mary, only trust in the Lord God and her willingness to serve him, how it should be for all people, yes, you and I too.
Now Mary went quickly to the home of Elizabeth and Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
"And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" (Luke 1:41-43)
And so we see the first meeting of Jesus and John the Baptist, the next time they meet it will be thirty plus years later for the baptism of Jesus Christ by John in the River Jordan.
Both John and Elizabeth knew at the sound of Mary's voice that the Lord had entered their presence, that is the power of the Holy Spirit as he works in the lives of ordinary people put into extraordinary circumstances, it still happens today to those who welcome him and receive his blessings.
Will you accept him today as your Lord, if you will cry out to him for salvation he will save you and you will know the joy and peace that only comes in living for the Lord.
May his blessings fill you this day and forever...