In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit…
Reflection by Matthew Alexander
The season of Advent is upon us. For many, this season marks the beginning of a difficult time. Grief, loss, and generally wishing things were different are among the difficulties some of us are facing. Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy and happiness but many are struggling, so happiness and joy can feel very distant. The Christmas lights and joyous music torture our eyes and ears as we make our way through the malls.
Those living under the rule of the Roman government were no strangers to struggle either. Back before Christmas was even a thing the people under the Roman rule lived in an oppressive world. If you were a female, then you had little to no rights because you often thought of as no more than property. If you were sick with disease, then you were an outcast and often untouchable. If you were poor, then you had no voice. Even worse, these attributes often kept you from having a relationship with God simply because of your how you born into the world.
Elizabeth’s pregnancy and excitement of this yet to be born baby hearing the voice of Mary was an announcement that things were about to change. The world that was known was about to change. For those living under the Roman rule, this meant that the Messiah was coming so that all can know that they are loved by God. No matter who they are, God is finally coming to be with them. For that unborn baby in Elizabeth’s womb that was reason to leap and celebrate.
We can take heart this Christmas season ourselves. We may be going through a difficult time but we can find comfort in knowing that God is with us. Peace, joy, love, and hope should be at the center of all we do this Christmas season. Sure, we will shop but more importantly we can celebrate in knowing that no matter what we are going through we are not alone. We have the light of Christ in us that will help us bear the load, therefore, we should not hesitate to leap and celebrate this season.
Be with us the Christmas Season, Emmanuel. We do struggle, we grieve, and we wish sometimes things were different in our lives. Give us that peace, joy, love and hope that will give us comfort as we prepare to celebrate the coming of Your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.