Rejoicing While We Wait
By: Christina Edmondson
I need you, you need me
We're all a part of God's body
Stand with me, agree with me
We're all a part of God's body
-Hezekiah Walker, “I Need You to Survive”
39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her!”
Yesterday’s devotional focused on Mary’s moving words of praise. Interestingly, those words follow the encouraging words of Elizabeth, noted above. Upon hearing the Good News, Mary makes haste to find her dear cousin, a spiritual mother of sorts who likewise finds herself carrying an expected child of purpose, the future John the Baptist. As Mary spoke, Elizabeth’s body and baby reacted. The Holy Spirit filled Elizabeth, as is the pattern in Scripture, subsequent prophesying and proclamation ensue. The Holy Spirit in us and through us does the mighty work of pointing to Jesus Christ, the incomparable King. Elizabeth calls Mary “Blessed!” Remember, this is a name Mary will hold for all generations, and one that we who fear the Lord now hold as well. Elizabeth responds to the gift of Christ coming near her through Mary by stating, “But, why am I so favored?” She can hardly believe this grace. Elizabeth has encountered a saving compassion that came right to her door and captured her very body with wonder and power.
In my mind’s eye, I can imagine this celebration of rejoicing. It harkens back to the praises of Miriam leading the women in worship to the Lord. Can you see it? Laughter, tears, hugs and expressions of encouragement and love because of God’s sweet and sure promises. As we wait, sisters, here is a bit of advice: be like Mary. Get yourself some “rejoicing cousins,” a band of Elizabeths who will remind you and I that the promises of the Lord are “yes and Amen.” An Elizabeth who will dance with you and hope with you. Look, this is not the same as pie-in-the-sky or Polyannna theology that sounds sweet but does not sustain. Elizabeths can remind you of what God has done for them, making the barren fruitful. In Elizabeth’s life we see God shutting the mouths of doubting men and filling believing women with His Spirit.
Sisters, the King is coming, and we are so favored that He is coming for us! This truth rounds out our lament with a foundation of hope. Jesus’ promises are to be believed, recited, shared and sung. These promises will feed us until we are satisfied for an eternity with the King. Ride on, King Jesus!
So, while we wait for the King, visit your “rejoicing cousins,” and together let’s take turns reminding each other of the promise-keeping and fulfilling Christ.
Soon-coming King, thank You for Your Church. Lord, we do not wait for Your return alone! You have fashioned Yourself a people. We are a people that are interconnected and interdependent. Help us, Lord, to treat each other well. Heal us from the wounds from within our own faith community. Help us to rejoice with each other, weep with each other, and remind each other of Your glorious promises. Amen
Songs of Praise and Meditation:
“Ride on King Jesus,” composed by Moses Hogan
“I Need you to Survive,” Hezekiah Walker
Questions for Reflection
Are you known as a promise-proclaimer?
Who are the women in your life that remind you of the promise-keeping King?
Do you struggle to rejoice with your sister(s) when God’s promises are fulfilled in their life? If yes, are you ready to repent and repair?