Advent Devotional Day 5, Girlfriends

At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth.  When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.  In a loud voice she exclaimed:  “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!  But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?  As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.  Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.” 

Sometimes you just need your girlfriends..
I absolutely love that the first thing Mary did, after declaring her faith again and choosing to abide, was run to her cousin.

The Angel Gabriel had told Mary that “even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.”  (Lk 1:36-37)  So as she hurries to meet Elizabeth she is well aware of the miracle happening in her life, and I’d like to bet she probably thought to herself that this was the only person who could really empathize with her.

Empathy is an amazing thing.  It is the next level of sympathy; the ability to truly feel and understand what the other person is going through.  Though neither the Gospel of Matthew nor the Gospel of Luke tell us if Mary actually spoke to Joseph after their personal revelations, I’d have to imagine they most certainly did share a deep conversation; an idea we indulged in yesterday.

Here, she clearly went to talk to Elizabeth, and for a very great reason.

As girlfriends we chatter and cackle and gossip and giggle.  It’s something ingrained in us as young girls and doesn’t always end well.  If we let it go too far in the wrong direction we turn into mean girls.  If we combine it with a strong faith in God, however, we turn into Princess sisters whose fellowship is a force to be reckoned with.  The messages exchanged between a group of women giddy for God just cannot be contained or replicated.  We recite Scripture in our own quirky translations, we speak in Psalms, we give little “Amens” and we deeply and whole-heartedly embrace the feelings of one another.  Here, Mary and Elizabeth were exchanging praise and dwelling in fellowship; likely one of the most amazing faith-moments of their lives, up until then.

What strikes me as so very important is what happened when Mary simply arrived.

“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Lk 1:41)

Just like that, the Spirit was with the both of them.

Even the most simple and common greeting turns to a miracle when you do it in the name of the Lord.  He yearns for us to desire His presence; test Him on that!  Praise His desire to be with His girls!

I’m reminded of Matthew 18:20 when I read this.

 “for where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”  

If we simply gather in His name, He graces us with His presence.  If we are two believers among many opposed, He is with us.  In Mary and Elizabeth’s case, when Mary arrived and greeted Elizabeth with the anticipation of speaking of the miracles in their lives, the Spirit in Mary literally leapt into Elizabeth.  They were gathered in His name, and He was with them.

We have a great power when we get together. 
We stir one another and we lift up His name.  
The vitality and energy amongst a group of God-fearing women is a Holy, Holy thing.

Who is your goto girl?  
Who do you run to for fellowship, empathy, 
and the chance to just marvel at the goodness of God?

Today, reach out to your girlfriends, believers or not.  Pray for them, lift them up, and try to organize a little goodness-gossip session somehow.  Lay a tough question on the table and challenge one another to speak on it faithfully.  Celebrate a moment where you considered it a joy to struggle.  Whatever you can do to stir two or three (or more), do so; invite the Spirit to be with you and turn an ordinary moment into one of fellowship and praise!

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