“…and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, …Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” Luke 1:41, 45
I love Elizabeth. I love her simple yet incredibly profound faith. This faith which allows her to be filled with the holy Spirit enough to be the first person to recognize the mother of the Messiah. But her encouragement of Mary is also something that makes me think. In her excitement throughout that passage, she is present enough to stop and point out that the key was Mary believing.
Believing is everything. Not lip service, but belief.
We must believe in God’s promise. We must believe that the seed that God has planted in our hearts is there to become a reality. No matter the time it takes, no matter the form it takes, no matter how hard it is…if it is planted by God it is meant to become a reality. But we have to believe.
I sometimes struggle with this. Yesterday was one of those days…or maybe this week has been one of those weeks where I am struggling to believe that the seed in my heart was planted there by God and not by me. I had to stop and take the long-view. I had to stop and remind myself that I only understand so much of the purpose of this seed. I had to remind myself that if my goal is truly to be of use in God’s world then everything I do has to be less about me and so much more about God. To be less about my understanding the process and more about going with it.
But I am distracted with something that disturbs me on a very deep level. I am distracted by the disregard of the work of the holy Spirit in our society.
We find ourselves once again at a time of societal upheaval. We are seeing things that frighten the hell out of us. We are hearing rhetoric that we never imagined would be able to receive a national platform…and more frightening, people on a larger scale than I thought possible are agreeing with it.
In other words we do not believe. If are being guided by fear and fear is not of God, then who is guiding this?
Fear undermines, fear distracts, fear confuses and it lies. Fear is not of God.
Had Elizabeth or Mary been guided by fear when they were charged with this enormous task of ushering in a prophet and a savior then there would be no story.
But they weren’t (and there was a lot of reason to be!) and there is a story because they believed.
They believed in a God who was in control and who kept his promises. The God of all of us. The Creator of the world. God loves and protects us all. To live in fear and to promote fear is to reject that premise of our faith.
Instead, as believers, it is our role to trust God and speak peace.
It is so easy.
Creator of all, today, I light my candle of peace.
I pray for all people who live in fear.
I hold in my heart all people who are discriminated against and
I ask the Holy Spirit to speak to the hearts of those who promote fear.
Fill me with compassion for all my brothers and sisters.