2023 Advent Devotional - Luke 1:39-45 (Day 19)


Luke 1:39-45 “ In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 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! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

I pray that all of you remember receiving that one “special gift”, or maybe you even felt like you received many “special gifts” in your life.  Think back to that one very special gift…and can you remember how excited you were…and the joy you felt when you received it?  When I think about the “special gifts” I’ve received in my life; I also remember how excited and joyful I was about them.  Do you remember how you felt about those gifts in your life?  I couldn’t wait to share the good news about the gift with my friends and family…the community surrounding my life.  

However, as I read and re-read the occasion recorded by Luke, in his gospel, the “special gifts” I remembered as a child…were nothing…compared to the gift of the promise fulfilled by the Holy Spirit though the virgin Mary.  What a joyful gift she received, and what did she do?  She went with haste to see Zechariah and Elizabeth…to share the good news and great joy of this Gift of promises fulfilled.  Mary must of had reservations about all that had happened to her; as well as the news Gabriel had told her about Elizabeth having a child in her “old age”.

Nothing is impossible with God!  Mary had already been made aware of this by the visit she received, and when Elizabeth’s baby leaped in the womb at the sound of Mary’s greeting.  This shared additional insight to the promises being fulfilled.  Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she declared to Mary “And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”  Clearly both Elizabeth and Mary were joyful despite their unusual circumstances.  The Holy Spirit had worked miraculously in both of them, and they were filled with the Joy of the Lord, as they met and shared their “special gifts”.  They were overflowing with the Joy of the Lord, as the Holy Spirit worked in and through them.

I am so thankful for this description of Mary and Elizabeth’s joy, however it makes me realize that the “special gifts” I recall as a youngster pale in comparison to the “gift” Mary and Elizabeth received from the Holy Spirit.  It makes me realize that I have not fully appreciated the “gift of the Holy Spirit” in my life.  I have “head knowledge” of this gift…but I don’t know that I fully appreciated the “Joy” of the gift of Jesus in my life and the continuing presence of the Holy Spirit.  

I pray: Lord forgive me for not fully appreciating the most important gift I have ever received.  May you, through your Holy Spirit continue to convict me that the “GREATEST GIFT” I have ever received is that you are my Lord, my Redeemer and my Savior.  Thank You for this amazing GIFT, Lord.  Amen. - By Tom Hoien

Posted in ,

No Comments