• Karen M. Peeler

Woven Together

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said,

“Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!”

Luke 1:26-28

I love the Christmas story. Each year I take time to sit in the presence of God and read the story of His son's birth. The connection that feeds my passioin is the one between Mary and Elizabeth.

Elizabeth was "very old" according to scripture and petitioned heaven for many years. She longed for a child (Luke 1:7). Her words were spoken faithfully to a faithful Father year after year and they did not go unnoticed.

After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.” Luke 1:24

Her fervent prayers roared in heaven and declared an answer on earth.

God responded, Gabriel confirmed, and she conceived a son. Her precious one, John the Baptist would prepare the hearts of the people for the coming Lord.

Miraculous was Elizabeth's story but one greater was yet to be told. Elizabeth's cousin Mary would receive a visit from heaven proclaiming her blessed and highly favored by God. She would conceive a child through the power of the Holy Spirit and give birth to the Savior of the world

God had woven Elizabeth's miracle into Mary's destiny.

"And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.”

Luke 1:36-37

Can you imagine what it must have felt like to carry this unbelievable treasure?

Mary knew this was not the moment for careless words. Her heart was full and she needed a friend who would understand and confirm the message she received.

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

The angel proclaimed a pathway to someone who would speak life into Mary. Elizabeth her cousin. From the relationship portrayed in scripture Mary and Elizabeth had an instant bond and shared a common belief in the promised Messiah. Together they heard the voice of God and received a miracle after many years of silence. Their actions provided signs of a marvelous relationship with a powerful heavenly Father.

As the story unfolds we find them rejoicing with one another. Encouraging one another. Loving one another. Knit together by divine design.

The creator knew these two vessels would need each other. He looked down through time and provided Mary with a tangible hand to hold. A beautiful connection.

Think for a moment how isolated Mary might have been if not connected to Elizabeth. Even the details are important to God.

"Their relationship was not an accident it was a design."

What a marvelous Savior we serve. God designed relationship to build us up and stir what he has created and set apart for His purpose.

"God created tangible encouragement seasoned with reward."

"Two are better than one, because they have a good

reward for their toil."

Ecclesiastes 4:9

A connection ordained and destined to change the world. And I firmly believe God continues to use this same design today.

He longs to unite the body of Christ to advance His mission. Purpose, positions our life to reach up and out as we gather together to seek the lost and equip the saved.

God spoke to Elizabeth and Mary and he continues to speak to us today. The creator's heart is constant in pursuit of connecting with His creation.

Relationships are designed to be a priceless reward and a conduit of salvation for the world .

Elizabeth recognized the call on Mary, saw the promise waiting to be birthed within and cried out a blessing. She discerned and acknowledged the hand of God and marveled at the honor of being a part of the promise.

We need to carry the spirit of Elizabeth to those around us. Supporting, encouraging and seeing the promises of God waiting to be birthed. Being led by the Spirit brings alignment and confirmation of the promises breathed over each life.

Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.” Luke 1:39-45

Elizabeth was courage Mary could touch empowered through the Holy Spirit.

"Faithfully they understood the principle of abiding and the importance of alignment in the bigger picture of advancing the kingdom."

As Elizabeth rejoiced with Mary God gave her the gift of the Holy Spirit. Both were blessed. There is no lack in loving others. Great is our reward when we compliment instead of compete in the things of God.

"And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit"

Luke 1:41

When the angel appeared to Mary she responded.

God is speaking to us today through the Holy Spirit. How will we respond?

There is opportunity around every corner to be an Elizabeth to a young Mary who is living in a world full of firsts.

Will you step up, and reach out to another and rejoice, weep, pray and partner with them on this amazing journey?

Mary embraced the design of a good Father.

Elizabeth hoped when all seemed hopeless.

God fulfilled His promises.

Unique individual stories working together to fulfill the perfect purpose of a good, good Father.

Complimenting not competing.

Through surrender their story was knit together by the Word made flesh and woven into generations to come.

"Faithfully they understood the principle of abiding and the importance of alignment in the bigger picture of advancing the kingdom."

How will you respond?

As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another.

Proverbs 27:17

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