Sunday 20 December 2015

Bible Book:

“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” (v. 42)

Luke 1:39-45 Sunday 20 December 2015

Psalm: Psalm 80


Luke begins his Gospel with an account of the birth, first ofJohn the Baptist, then of Jesus, and today's passage is part ofthat account. Those who are following these readings from day today will find the sequence odd: tomorrow's passage will take usback to the preceding paragraph in Luke and the announcement toMary of Jesus' coming birth. The reason is that the Sunday passagesare arranged throughout the year on a different cycle from theweekly ones. They do not always fit together easily!

Elizabeth, Mary's relative, is already six months pregnant andthe child moves in the womb at the sound of Mary's voice. Alreadythe unborn John recognises the unborn Jesus as the greater one sentby God (compare Luke 3:16).

The key notes in Elizabeth's response are her intuition thatMary's child will be greater than her's, and her joy. Both theintuition and the joy are the gift of God's Spirit.

These notes Luke will repeatedly sound as his Gospel unfolds.John is important in preparing the ground for Jesus, but it isJesus who will bring the joy of salvation.

To Ponder

  • How can you recover the spontaneity of Elizabeth's joy,especially if the Christmas story is so familiar?
  • What part do you think Elizabeth and Mary may have played inthe development of their sons as they grew up?


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