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Read Luke 1:39-45. TEXT: In those days Mary arose and
went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah,
and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted
Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-40).

Advent    One of the greatest blessings of the Christmas
season is the chance to visit with friends and family. These
are excellent times to renew old friendships, and bask in
the presence of our loved ones. But we often face an
awkward time when we first meet. Our lives naturally drift
in different directions, and we may find we share less in
common now. Sometimes it's hard to find anything to talk
about. It can all be a little daunting.

Mary may have felt that fear and intimidation standing
before the door of Zechariah's house. Mary knew her
pregnancy was innocent and pure, but would the priest
and his wife believe it? Would they scold her, perhaps,
even reject her?

If she was afraid, God quickly removed that fear. The
instant Mary's greeting reached Elizabeth's ears two things
happened. The Holy Spirit-filled baby growing in Elizabeth's
womb leapt for joy--and the Holy Spirit rushed into
Elizabeth. Instantly, she knew Mary was pregnant, and with

"Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of
your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother
of my Lord should come to me?"

All awkwardness was gone, and Elizabeth's warm and
enthusiastic greeting was an assurance to Mary.

Do you have travel plans this Christmas? Do you have friends
or family to visit? The thing that made Mary's visit to Zechariah
and Elizabeth so special was the presence of the Christ Child.
Likewise, the thing that will make your Christmas visits so
special is the presence of the Christ Child with you. Be sure
to keep your focus on Him. After all, He is the Reason for the


Heavenly Father, make my Christmas visits joyful and
meaningful as I bring along the Christ who offers us peace, joy
and eternal hope. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

( Wayne Palmer Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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