Someone had posted on social media the following. “A fetus was the first to recognize Jesus!” I had never thought about that and I began thinking about the unborn, John the Baptist, leaping for joy in the womb. Then my advent devotional, “Rediscover Christmas” was about joy and used this story. “...Mary and Elizabeth, two miraculous mothers-to-be in Luke’s Christmas account. Both women were facing a mixture of emotions in their unexpected pregnancies. Behind Elizabeth’s elation were decades of shame, scorn and crushed dreams of having children. Maybe that’s why she spent five months in seclusion. Behind Mary’s wonder were judgment and scorn from others, and certainly some fear and confusion of her own. Maybe that’s why Mary hurried to the hill country, away from the judgmental eyes of her neighbors. But when the two women united, joy erupted. Elizabeth’s baby, John the Baptist, leaped in the womb. The Holy Spirit filled Elizabeth, and she joyfully blessed and affirmed Mary. Then Mary burst into song, praising God and rejoicing. All the fear, uncertainty, and pain faded in the face of encouragement and joy.”
It brings me joy to think about an unborn baby knowing he was in the presence of Jesus! Luke 1: 41, “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” I know an unborn baby knows its mothers voice but I never really thought about it knowing Jesus. I began wishing I had read scripture to my unborn babies.
That Sunday morning I was blessed by the children singing, “Heart of Gold.” The lyrics are, “I too often think of pleasing only me, And my actions prove I’m really full of greed. I can’t do it on my own. Lord let your love unfold. Remove from me this heart of stone. Refine till all that’s left is gold. Heart of gold, I want a heart of gold. Evidence of one refined. Biggest from a real gold mine. Heart of gold, I want a heart of gold. Renew my life so I can shine. Purify me deep inside: a heart of gold. Remove the jealousy, bring in sincerity. Take out my selfishness, bring love and faithfulness.” What we could learn from our little children!
My pastor preached about rediscovering joy in our discouragement. I thought of all of those who are hurting. The words that I can still hear the children singing are, “I want a heart of gold. Renew my life so I can shine.” Isn’t that what we all want? I want to be like Mary so future generations will call me blessed! Luke 1: 46-48, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed…”