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“Happy is she who believed”

December 21, 2022

Daily Scripture

Luke 1:39-45

39 Mary got up and hurried to a city in the Judean highlands. 40 She entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 With a loud voice she blurted out, “God has blessed you above all women, and he has blessed the child you carry. 43 Why do I have this honor, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. 45 Happy is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill the promises he made to her.”

Did You Know?
Because many people travel for Christmas, Resurrection starts Candlelight Christmas Eve services today. Click here for full Christmas Eve service information at all six physical locations as well as online and TV for Resurrection Anywhere.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

In Miracle on 34th Street we met little Susan Walker, whose mother had told her it was foolish to believe in Santa. But Susan exclaimed: “I believe…I believe… even though it’s silly, I believe.” * Mary traveled 8-10 days on foot to reach Elizabeth, ** apparently the only person she could trust to support her in believing the angel’s “silly” message. And Elizabeth delivered what Mary needed, saying, “Happy is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill the promises he made to her” (verse 45).

  • Before Jesus was even born, Elizabeth was the first to call him “Lord”: “Why do I have this honor, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (verse 43) (The gospels also said women were the first witnesses proclaiming Jesus’ resurrection.) How does calling Jesus “Lord” mean giving up the right to live your life any way you please? In what ways has Jesus’ lordship changed your life, and brought a different kind of love and joy into it?
  • Pastor Hamilton wrote, “We all need an Elizabeth we can turn to for advice, wisdom, and encouragement. And we’re all called to be an Elizabeth for someone else—to invest in that person and pass on what we’ve learned.” *** As you reflect on this lovely story of support and sharing, remember (and remember to thank) those who have blessed you with love and understanding when you really needed it. And ask, “Who could my caring support help this Advent?”

Lord Jesus, what wonderful models Elizabeth and Mary are for me! Keep reminding me that you kept your promises to Elizabeth and Mary—and that you still do that today. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of  Dr. Amy Oden

Dr. Amy Oden

Dr. Amy Oden is Professor of Early Church History and Spirituality, teaching at several seminaries. Teaching is her calling, and she looks forward to every day with students. Her latest book (Right Here, Right Now: The Practice of Christian Mindfulness, Abingdon Press, 2017) traces ancient mindfulness practice for Christians today.

I love this image of two women sitting together, Mary and Elizabeth, sharing their joy. Each with new life, waiting to be born. Each aware that God is doing something amazing in their lives. Each resting in the assurance of blessing unfolding in its own time.

This image invites me to wonder, what new life in me is waiting to be born? What “Emmanuel-God-with-us-kind-of-love” might I give birth to at Christmas? What Great Love has the Holy One conceived in me that will be born?

This year following the death of my husband has felt fallow, a time of existing, waiting, simply surviving. It doesn’t feel like much of anything in me is waiting to be born.

Yet I want to hear Elizabeth’s words for myself, “God has blessed you above all women, and he has blessed the child you carry.” I want to trust that the Holy One has indeed conceived in me a Great Love that will bless the world.

On this solstice day, the longest night of the year, what new life in you is waiting in the darkness to be born this Christmas? What in you “leaps for joy” in anticipation? And, just as in childbirth, what labor will help it be born?

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Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* From

** Adam Hamilton, The Journey: A Season of Reflections. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2011, p. 78.

*** Ibid., p 97.