I love the music of the Christmas season. Two of my favorites are “Joy to the World” and “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus.” Lines from each of those songs came to mind after reading today’s passage: “Let every heart prepare,” from the first and, “Expected Jesus,” from the second. Prepare means to “make ready beforehand for a specific purpose or to make oneself ready.” Expect means to “look forward to the probable occurrence or appearance of.” Today, we will be looking at the hearts of two women who were expectant and ready to be a part of God’s plan.
- What are you doing to prepare for Jesus’ arrival in your life?
READ THE WORD: LUKE 1:39-45 (ESV)
39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- In verse 39, Luke tells us that Mary went with haste. Where did she go?
- Mary’s elderly cousin, Elizabeth, was also miraculously pregnant. What two things happened when Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting?
- What did Elizabeth say about Mary in verses 42 and 43, and how did she know these things?
- What did Mary believe, which resulted in Elizabeth calling her blessed (vs. 45)?
- In what areas of your life are you finding it difficult to trust God and believe his Word?
RESPOND TO GOD
Mary and Elizabeth were expectant women—not just because they were each expecting a child, but also because they expected the promises of God to come true. These women—one old, the other young—had prepared their hearts by faithfully believing God and his promises. As believers on this side of the cross, are we living with ready hearts, taking God at his word? Are we expectant people, awaiting the return of our Lord? Let us live with hearts wide open to God and his plans, and “Let every heart prepare him room!”
- A man once said to Jesus, “I believe, help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24). Ask the Lord to help you with any unbelief you may have.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to show where you are not living in expectancy of his return.