Elizabeth the Mentor

Dec. 12, 2012

Elizabeth said “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.”  – Luke 1:43-45

Most biblical scholars believe Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah lived in the town of Ein Karem, about 80 miles from the village of Nazareth. Ein Karem is closer to Jerusalem than to Nazareth.

While the journey from Nazareth to Ein Karem would have taken several days, it would have been virtually impossible for Elizabeth to discover Mary’s news before she arrived. Yet as soon as this teenager enters her house, Elizabeth is so excited. She knows Mary is the person carrying the Messiah.

Elizabeth isn’t disappointed Mary received this great honor rather than herself. While Elizabeth has waited and waited for her baby, Mary is in a different situation. Elizabeth is just as excited about Mary’s baby, maybe even more excited, than she is for her own baby.

It is weeks before the arrival of her baby. Elizabeth would have been knee-deep in preparations. She might not have had a lot of extra time. Nonetheless, Elizabeth quickly understands she is to be a mentor to Mary. With years of experience, she could be a source of encouragement, perspective and wisdom for Mary.

We all need an older mentor/guide in our lives, an Elizabeth. This older person understands, guides and affirms us. I’ve had a variety of Elizabeth’s in my life. I’m also at the stage when I need to be an Elizabeth to other people and help them discover God’s purpose for their life. Mentoring blesses the one who is being mentored. It also blesses the one mentoring. While Mary was blessed being in Elizabeth’s home, it is also clear that Elizabeth considers it a great honor for Mary’s presence. That’s why she is the first person to call Jesus, “Lord.”

Lord God – Thank you for the folks who have mentored and guided me. Allow me the maturity and wisdom to know when I can step out and help someone.  Make it clear whom I might mentor. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

God’s Perspective on Blessings

Dec. 11, 2012

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.”  – Luke 1:41-42

What are blessings? We often think of money, having a home or material possessions. Sometimes we think of family and friends, security or health as blessings.

Twice in Elizabeth’s greeting, she calls Mary and the child she is carrying “blessed.” Mary’s blessings were not based on material possessions. Her blessedness came from being used in God’s plan. Because she was being used by God for God’s kingdom, Elizabeth proclaims her as “blessed.”

What is amazing is while Elizabeth sees Mary’s situation as a blessing, few others would. Would she still feel blessed as people whispered about her pregnancy out of wedlock? Would she feel blessed after trying to explain to Joseph her precarious situation? As she journeyed through Jesus’ life, would “blessed” be the first word to tumble off her lips as she described her life with the Messiah?

Rick often reminds me of how blessed we are. And he is right. In the last few weeks, three of our four parents have had significant changes in their health. Yet, just a couple days ago, Rick reiterated how blessed we are. Overwhelmed, yes, but also blessed. Often God’s blessings also include adversity. I am reminded again that God’s blessings are not about ease and comfort. God’s blessings allow us to be a part of the work of God’s kingdom. This is how Mary was blessed by God and how we can be blessed.

I think it was imperative for the first person Mary discussed her pregnancy with to completely support and encourage Mary. Elizabeth does this and more. Within a few days of discovering her pregnancy, she is lovingly blessed by her relative Elizabeth. What a relief this must have been for Mary. She has someone who will love and support and try to relate to her. What a blessing!

Lord God – Too often we focus on the anxieties of life rather than the blessings. Most often, they go hand-in-hand. When we face adversity, I pray that we will be able to trust you, Lord God, and allow you to take the situation and bring a blessing out of it. May we see the great opportunity we have to be a blessing when God uses us. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne