Rejoicing in the Lord:
● When we believe in God’s promises, our hearts overflow with Joy. It bounces in Good spirit. Elizabeth was bold to affirm that “This is what the Lord has done for me and took away the disgrace I have endured among my people.” She never had any theophanic experience like Zachariah, but she was open to God and God took her disgrace by showering GRACE upon her. (‘Grace’- John ("Yahweh is Gracious")- Elizabeth- God is my Oath – Zachariah – God remembers, Mary – Sea of Bitterness, Joseph- Yahweh increases)
● The Lord has done for me- God is always active and he participates in our struggles. He gives us special blessings and elevates our esteem when we are denied by the world. The power of God amplifies the volume of joy in us. He delivers us from all our adversaries. God, being the source of life, all good things flows from HIM. Denying this very paradigm of Life will engender numerous mendacities in life. The author of Proverbs cities: “In all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths”. Turning to God is the ultimate call for genuine spirituality. To understand the connectivity between the reality and the mystery one need to turn him/herself to God with openness of mind.
● Took away the Disgrace- The human agency can never wipe our disgrace, because we all are limited. The human designs and plans for life cease not to sprout the fallibilities and sustain the fallacies in life. Human impulses have their own limitations because we are “just creatures” and not the Creator. The desire to occupy the place of God is the origin of Sin. Here Zachariah was not able to visualize the “Creative Power of God”- He is very sure of Human powers and its possibilities and built a wall of disbelief that fails to connect with God. The lack of openness to God failed him to focus on the POSSIBILITIES OF GOD in spite of the vision and the theophanic encounter. When we depend too much on ourselves and acclaim the “I” in us, it leads us to disgrace. Elizabeth was open and when she conceived, she was able to see the ‘Creative power of God”. She understood the human limitations and God’s unlimited power that crosses the natural boundaries.
● Endured among people- Endurance is possible only when we have deep faith. In spite of multiple problems, we move forward because we hope for a better future. A symphony will emerge in the context of cacophony. A positive wave in a negative ocean. A light in a dark room dispels the darkness. Endurance is an optimistic act because it accepts “the other” and embraces “the other” for good. There is no defeat in the dictionary of endurance since it attempts for transformation of life. Cross is a significant symbol that elaborates the endurance of Christ against the powers and principalities of this world to conquer it by love. The tension between good and bad is inevitable, but our association and affirmation with the goodness enhances us to be a child of God.
Sharing the Testimony;
Both Mary and Elizabeth acknowledged the providence of God and His mighty Hand in their life. History belongs to God. In every course of history, the perishable human powers accelerate its powerful demonstration to monopolize every history. The very expression of ‘I am that I am’ is a revelation from God to state that (I was, I am and I will be) “HE exists throughout the whole history”. We all are part in Him and God is the “ground, structure and power of being”. When God’s
promise work in us we cannot isolate our self but we unite with the like-minded people to vibrate the impulse of divinity. Alienation, isolation and segregation from self, others and from God display the effects of sin. Union, communion and association exhibit the display of blessing. Here Elizabeth and Mary share their testimony to navigate themselves to glorify of God and submit unconditionally for God’s plan.
Greeting Each Other:
The act of blessing and passing a greeting to another basically stems from God. It is a divine act. God is the only connecting force with ‘the other’. As a people of God, we too worship and greet each other to magnify God. They believed in the communion and union in the spirit which emboldens them to walk the challenges of life.
“Lord be with you and also with you” is a verbal greeting and blessing that we exchange to invoke the presence of God. This greeting shifts the paradigm of hierarchical spirituality and dictates a new dimension of mutuality anchored in God’s Grace recognizing each other as a powerful tool of God. The rudiments of blessing are nothing but the Good thoughts which longs for life and celebration for all in Christ. Evil thinking captives such joy and celebration and sprouts the distress and creates the ripples of disharmony in our lives. The state of misery and pain exists in such a context of human complexities.
How do we greet each other? How do we integrate with others as a body of Christ? In the context of challenges, we are called to greet each other with a prophetic and bold theological vision and hope. The arithmetic numbers may be less, even though we are alone, being with God we become mighty. Might is not according to the standard of this world’s parameters, but with scales of Jesus quality in us by surrendering to the plan of God, to negate the distorted with the tools of love and sacrifice.
“Mary greeted”- “Bitterness greeted”- God’s bitterness itself is a joy. Because whatever that comes from the God give us Joy. It’s not only a verbal greeting but a holistic feeling of goodness, made the child to leap in Elizabeth’s womb. From womb to tomb the power of God can reach and bring transformation. This greeting connected a old, a young and a babe as a subjects of blessing; which highlights the quality of God blessing flow to all. Specially women and children, who are the vulnerable in any given society.
“Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord”
Elizabeth celebrates the faith of Mary. Faith is an important faculty to accelerate the life in its fullness. Mary believed but Zachariah did not believe. Elizabeth was so keen in highlighting Mary and her affirmation. She unconditionally accepts Mary as the “Mother of the Lord”. She displays the quality of Humility and submitting to the Gods motive for salvation. Recognizing the call of Mary, and blesses her wholeheartedly. Do we recognize the call of others? Do we listen to the voice of the other to discern God’s Plan? A competitive spirituality and a superlative attitude corrupt the mission of God. Ministry is a diverse package which caters to the people of God in recognizing the purpose and plan of God for each one for everyone.