Tuesday we celebrated the visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-56). In this moment we stand in awe of God’s miraculous plan as a young virgin with child visits her cousin who is seemingly too old to bear children. Yet, in this moment as both embrace one another, they also embrace God’s grand plan in salvation history.
John the Baptist, who Elizabeth would bear, serves as the forerunner for Jesus. He would be the last prophet, symbolic of the Old Covenant coming to pass with the birth of Jesus. No longer would God speak through those He selected to bear His message to His people in one generation, but through His Son who would reach all generations, tribes and peoples. This moment marks the passing of the torch from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant in Jesus Christ’s entrance into the world. In reflecting upon this moment in God’s plan, there are examples of faith to seek to live out in our own lives.
First, is the willingness of both of the women to say ‘yes’ to God, even in the face of the seemingly impossible. I can’t count the number of times I have thought, and at times heard, that I am not able to do something for the Lord. It seems out of my skill set, or may seem to be an impossible task. Yet, Scripture shows us that God’s track record is to takes willing hearts and equips them for His grand purposes. I think back upon God’s calling David to be king of Israel, and how He reminded Samuel that He looks not to the outward appearance but to the heart (1 Sam. 16:7). What might the Lord do in and through you if you chose to believe this truth? We most probably would be surprised at what He may call and equip us to do for His name’s sake if we approached Him in prayer with a heart that said, “Yes Lord, I am willing to serve you as you see fit.”
Secondly, we discover the joy they had in choosing to reorient their lives around God’s purposes for them. Bearing a child changes everything, and Mary and Elizabeth counted it as joy. They found purpose and fulfillment in being at the heart of God’s will. So too with us. If we submit to what God leads us to do in service to Him we find great joy as well. During the summer months, make this your prayer also. Use these months to reflect, rest, listen and submit your heart to do what He may have for you in the fall months ahead. Perhaps it is building up the next generation in children and youth ministry, or welcoming others who are looking for community through our hospitality ministry. Wait upon the Lord and see!
Lastly, they saw the bigger picture. Mary and Elizabeth discovered that their ‘yes’ was about so much more than they themselves. Their ‘yes’ paved the way of salvation for all! Have you thought about that before? Your ‘yes’ to God could transform our community, nation and the world. It is never just about us! God’s plans and purposes include and extend far beyond ourselves. Your willingness to serve may be just what unlocks a heart, or brings Jesus into a school, business, or marketplace that may not have encountered Him before. You play a role in God’s plan too.
Join me this summer in waiting upon the Lord. Set aside times to be with Him and ask the Lord for places to serve Him now and in school year. For in choosing to say ‘yes’ to His calling upon our lives, we find joy in being at the center of His will or us and as we play an important role in others coming to discover Him and find His will for their lives too.