Making Room For Community

We’re in the 3rd week of Advent and as we continue with our devotional we are looking at another verse from Luke:

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”

Luke 1:41-45

I love this passage. As you would have seen from some of the daily devotionals on our Facebook page in the last couple of weeks, we have seen the parallels between Mary and Elizabeth. They both would have been shunned from their society:

  1. Elizabeth was seen as a barren woman and therefore no matter how well she lived in the eyes of the Lord, those around her would have only seen her as not being able to fulfil her role as a woman; to become a mother. Therefore, when she was blessed by God with a child, she isolates herself, knowing exactly what people would have said about her having a child so late in the day; could she do it, would she have the energy etc. The isolation would have meant she was shielded from all the outside noise, and she could focus on the take at hand: growing her child and preparing for his birth.
  2. Mary was also unprepared to be a mother, yet God had also blessed her with a child. His child. People in her community would have seen her as barely a woman as she wasn’t even married yet, she was so young and didn’t come from money. She knew those around her would also question her readiness but more so, they would question her worthiness; why her over someone who had lived right and had more years under her belt? She too needed a safe place to be able to come into her own and process the news. She found this with her cousin Elizabeth.

But in this passage you see how the women support each other, Mary is a comfort for Elizabeth after isolating for so long and to see God performing other miracles around her is a joy. But even more so, Elizabeth really puts Mary’s mind at ease.

‘Elizabeth prophetically declares the significance of what is happening and responds in worship. A shout of praise bursts from the Spirit and from John leaping within her womb. As Elizabeth’s song rises, it stirs something within. An aria is called forth from the innermost place in Mary and it sweetly dances through her lips: the great “Magnificat.”’

Sometimes all we need is to be truly seen and understood by others to know we are going along the right path or to be reassured. As a ‘girl’s girl’ myself, I live for moments like this where we aren’t intimidated by the amazing things that our friends or other women around us are achieving or being blessed with, instead we get excited and raise them up further.

This for me is what I love so much about our estate, there are so many entrepreneurs and game changers trying to create opportunities for themselves and the rest of the community to enjoy. And I love seeing the community come together to help make things happen. It feels like all of us can be ourselves here and can be truly seen, appreciated and supported.

Painting by Bette Dickinson, Author of Making Room In Advent

Ponder

What is stirring inside you that needs to be named? What do you see in someone else that you can name aloud to them?

Breath Prayer

Inhale: God, you made room for me.

Exhale: I can make room for others.

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