Mary Visits Elizabeth
“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 leapt in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leapt for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.’” (Luke 1:39-45 NRSV)
Anticipation is said to be excitement—waiting eagerly for something you know is going to happen. Anticipation is also a feeling of excitement about something that is going to happen in the near future.
Advent is a time for Preparation and Anticipation! But what are we preparing and anticipating for?
Preparation: Things we usually prepare for during the Advent season:
1) We prepare lists of things to do. 2) We prepare lists of things to buy. 3) We prepare lists of names for sending greeting cards. 4) We prepare to decorate our homes, trim a tree, plan a Christmas dinner. 5) We spend hours of time in preparation.
Anticipation: Things we usually anticipate during the Advent season
1) We anticipate having a great holiday celebration. 2) We anticipate reunions with family and friends. 3) We anticipate the excitement in giving and receiving gifts. 4)We anticipate the shopping, the cooking and the holiday activities.
But within the preparation and the anticipation of the season, do we make the time to hear God speak to us again about the First Coming of the Messiah? Do we take time to reflect on the Second Coming of Jesus the Christ—Savior of the all of humanity? Do we feel the need to?
The children of Israel had waited for generations for the coming of the promised Messiah. One could summarize that during those 400 years of waiting, they would have prepared and anticipated the coming of the Promised Messiah, over and over again! When was it going to happen? Was it ever going to happen? Their anticipation must have run the gambit of highs and lows every time there was news about someone being the promised Messiah.
And then it happened! We read in Gospel of Luke 1:35-37, “The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.’”
Now the real anticipation had begun -Luke 1:41-42!
And then Mary sang – Luke 146-47! The waiting was over! Hallelujah!
So good to take time during these busy days to reflect on the real meaning of Christmas. I read a quote today that was very meaningful to me because I am an armature photographer: “Life is like a camera- you focus on what’s important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives and if things don’t work out, you take another shot.” Hopefully, we will focus on the real meaning of Christmas, and not the material nature of our times.
There are so many people who do not have much in material things, and Christmas can be very difficult for them. Thus, it is important for all of us to remember and be mindful that Christmas was about the Coming of the Christ Child who came into the to give all of us the Hope, Peace, Love and Joy. And so that no matter what we are going through, Jesus loves us. Let us “Put Christ Back Into Christ-Mas! Let us give thanks for our family, friends and loved ones, and don’t put so much emphasis on material things since they don’t last forever.