Given to Each Other

Sunday, December 23 (Fourth of Advent) – Luke 1:39-55

“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit” (v. 41).

In the midst of God’s story, God uses two women, Mary and Elizabeth. Each living out their special role in challenging circumstances-one pregnant outside of marriage, the other an old woman about to give birth-God gives them to each other. Just as one baby bears witness to the other by leaping, Mary and Elizabeth bear witness to each other’s stories and lives, connected to one another. They live out their part in God’s story in community. Just as Jesus becomes embodied in human flesh, God gives these significant women someone with skin on for the journey.

Mariotto Albertinelli [Public domain]

I love Mariotto Albertinelli’s artistic masterpiece, The Visitation, which I was privileged to see last summer in Florence. He beautifully depicts the encouragement that Mary and Elizabeth are to one another. It is palpable.

God doesn’t leave us alone. God gives us community, someone with skin on, to embody that God is indeed Emmanuel, God with us.

Emmanuel, thank you for the gift that you give us in one another as we live out our stories with you. Amen.

(The devotions for Christmas week were originally written by Rev. Eva Sullivan-Knoff for the Covenant Home Altar. They are used with permission here)

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