Salem Lutheran Church

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Holy Jumping Babies!

Luke 1:39-55 Common English Bible (CEB)

Mary visits Elizabeth

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

Mary praises God

Mary said,

“With all my heart I glorify the Lord!
In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my savior.
He has looked with favor on the low status of his servant.
Look! From now on, everyone will consider me highly favored
because the mighty one has done great things for me.

Holy is his name.
He shows mercy to everyone,
from one generation to the next,
who honors him as God.
He has shown strength with his arm.
He has scattered those with arrogant thoughts and proud inclinations.
He has pulled the powerful down from their thrones
and lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty-handed.
He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,
remembering his mercy,
just as he promised to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to Abraham’s descendants forever.”

While we read this scripture in staff meeting my baby was moving around a lot. I was struck by what an incredible sensation it is to carry a child when you start to feel them move. It is so much fun — like your first conversations with your child, in secret because only the two of you know it’s happening. It made me smile to have Gilbert moving around in my tummy while reading about Mary and Elizabeth. And I realized what a special moment this was for both of these women. It’s possible that neither of them got to have too many positive conversations about their pregnancies. So to be able to relax and enjoy being pregnant together was probably even more special to these women.

Being pregnant instantly connects you to mothers everywhere. It’s special and beautiful — and I feel so supported by family and friends. I can’t imagine being like Mary and not having my support system. Or the hardships of travel, and life in general at that time.

But that’s important for me to remember. As I revel being pregnant, there are many who want to be, but cannot. There are those still waiting on adoption lists, there are those who have lost pregnancies and children. While this time of year holds so much fun and wonder for many — for some it’s a painful season and a reminder of deep, tragic loss. I pray for those experiencing loss or hardship this Christmas season to find moments of peace and other people to connect with to share their memories and feelings.

I pray for my family — that we are able to look around during all of the hubbub of craziness of Christmas Day and truly appreciate the people we have around us. I pray we’re able to remember the Christ child and his mother and what their first moments as a new family must have been like.

These are my prayers for you as well.

Merry Christmas!

Emily Nelson Dixon
Director of Teen Ministries and Outreach


Tags: Weekly Word