Luke 1:39-43 - 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. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?"
Luke tells us that Mary went "with haste" to visit Elizabeth; she was in a hurry to get there. And no wonder, because Mary knew that Elizabeth and Zechariah were the two people in the world guaranteed to believe in the miracle that was happening to her. They would understand that Mary's coming baby was God's miracle; they had their own miracle baby on the way. They would gladly take her in and care for her while she experienced those first few months of pregnancy herself—days of joy and anxiety, tiredness and morning sickness.
Elizabeth's house would be a home away from home—a place where Mary could relax and be comfortable. We all need that kind of a place, don't we? We need a place we can go where we don't have to worry about judgment or condemnation or shame. We need a refuge: a place where we can feel safe and loved.
God's good news for us is that we have exactly that—a home away from home, a place—no, even better, a Person! —who welcomes us and cares for us as His own children. "God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in trouble," says the psalmist (Psalm 46:1). God made Himself our refuge when He entered this world as our Savior, Jesus Christ. He lay down His own life to rescue us from evil, and rose from the dead as the One with power over everything, including all our fears. And to all of us who are ashamed, frightened, fearing judgment, He says, "Come to Me. Whoever comes to Me I will never cast out ... This is the will of Him who sent Me, that I should lose nothing of all that He has given Me, but raise them up on the last day" (see John 6:37-39).
THE PRAYER:Dear Lord Jesus, You have called me to You. Let me stay with You forever, trusting You with all my heart. Amen.
Advent Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
The Coming King REFLECTION QUESTIONS!
What is your favorite place to be? Why?
Who is someone in your life who makes you feel truly at home? How?
Think of someone you know who needs a "home away from home" from you. What could you do to show care and welcome to him or her?