Christmas Week – The Cast: Elizabeth

I have been faithful, Lord,

 

and my husband

has been faithful

 

We are obedient

to You

our great YHWH

 

Descendants of Aaron,

blessed with a priestly heritage

 

But we were barren

and lived out our married life

 

childless

 

It was sad

and it was heartache

but we continued to obey

 

God, You never lost sight of us

You saw us

and You sent a magnificent stranger…

 

yet he was familiar…

for we know You, God

 

An angel from heaven,

Gabriel,

came to visit my mate – Zechariah

 

Fear gripped him

and he trembled

 

but the reassurance of heaven came

 

The angel spoke the words

we longed most to hear,

 

“Your prayers have been heard.

Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son,

and you are to call him John.”

 

How unbelievable!

And it overwhelmed my husband

 

He questioned how it could be?

We were aged and we had never seen God work

this way…

 

Unbelief overtook my man

and he doubted

 

“I am Gabriel.  I stand in the presence of God.

I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.”

 

Silence and awe

 

And that silence continued….

for unbelief had consequences

 

My husband was struck mute

throughout my miraculous pregnancy

 

But I rejoiced

and I praised God

and I pondered His goodness

 

every

single

day

 

I never doubted

 

When in my sixth month

a relative came to visit

 

my cousin Mary!

 

I was so glad to see my kin

as I had been in seclusion

during most of my pregnancy

 

Mary walked into my presence

and the baby in my womb leaped for joy!

 

My precious child was filled with Your Spirit, God,

before he was even born!

 

My son and I had a miracle encounter

with God’s Son,

 

so small and growing

within Mary, His mother

 

And as soon as my baby leaped

I was thoroughly overwhelmed with Your presence, Lord!

 

I was filled with the Holy Spirit!

 

My God

had blessed me

with His very presence

 

and life would never again

be the same

 

for my son John would be born

as promised,

 

and he would boldly prepare the way

 

for His relative,

His cousin,

 

Jesus —

the Son of God

 

And I would continue to rejoice

and to believe

 

that God does

what He says He will do

 

I would trust His presence

and His promises

 

– Susie Stewart

 

When Herod was king of Judea, there was a Jewish priest named Zechariah. He was a member of the priestly order of Abijah, and his wife, Elizabeth, was also from the priestly line of Aaron. Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations. They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old.

One day Zechariah was serving God in the Temple, for his order was on duty that week. As was the custom of the priests, he was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense. While the incense was being burned, a great crowd stood outside, praying.

While Zechariah was in the sanctuary, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the incense altar. 12 Zechariah was shaken and overwhelmed with fear when he saw him. But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth.  And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.”

Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I be sure this will happen? I’m an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years.”

Then the angel said, “I am Gabriel! I stand in the very presence of God. It was he who sent me to bring you this good news! But now, since you didn’t believe what I said, you will be silent and unable to speak until the child is born. For my words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time.”

Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah to come out of the sanctuary, wondering why he was taking so long. When he finally did come out, he couldn’t speak to them. Then they realized from his gestures and his silence that he must have seen a vision in the sanctuary.

 Wen Zechariah’s week of service in the Temple was over, he returned home. Soon afterward his wife, Elizabeth, became pregnant and went into seclusion for five months. “How kind the Lord is!” she exclaimed. “He has taken away my disgrace of having no children.”

…Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Elizabeth gave a glad 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.”

– Luke 1:1-25, 39-45 (NLT)

 

 

 

 

 

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