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? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” Luke 1:41-45
My cousin Nancy was my first crush. I was seven or eight years old and she was eight or nine. Her grandmother was my grandfather’s mother – which makes us first cousins once removed (I think).
My earliest memory of her was at my aunt’s wedding where I was ring-bearer and she was the flower girl.
We would see each other usually once a year at Christmas time when my family would visit my paternal grandparents and make a visit to my great-grandmother Busia Blonski.
Nancy’s greatest influence on me was that she played the piano and organ beautifully. The first time I heard her play I instantly wanted to learn to play the organ.
That’s kind of unusual – the child wanting to take lessons instead of the parent wanting the child to take lessons (the way it was for me and my sons).
Before I could learn to play the organ I had to take piano lessons. That lasted a whole six months. While I learned to read music notes, I also learned that I hated to practice. I learned just enough to serve me well in being a singer in choirs and musicals.
I lost touch with my cousin Nancy through the years, but it was because of her – in an indirect way – that I can read music notes today.
John met his cousin Jesus when they were much younger – actually before they were even born! And Jesus would have a huge impact on his cousin John’s life.
Mary made the somewhat long and dangerous journey to a small village outside of Jerusalem to be with her relative (probably her cousin) Elizabeth who was near her time to give birth to John.
Along the way, Mary must have pondered extensively what had just happened to her. The angel Gabriel had just visited her and told her that she had been chosen to be the mother of the Messiah!
As soon as she raised her voice in greeting, the baby John leapt in Elizabeth’s womb! The two miracle babies “meet” for the first time!
The Holy Spirit then reveals to Elizabeth the identity of the baby that Mary is carrying. The Holy Spirit also reveals this knowledge to John.
Both reacted to this revelation. Elizabeth with an exclamation and confession of faith. John with a physical reaction of leaping (about all he could do given his age and location).
Many years later, Jesus would influence his cousin John to make his own confession of faith. Jesus was walking down the banks of the Jordan River and John – who was baptizing people there – looked up, saw his cousin, and proclaimed, “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
Jesus influences everyone in some way. As the Holy Spirit reveals Christ to a person, they can respond in a confession and exclamation of faith or they can reject Jesus.
In these days leading up to Christmas, the Holy Spirit is revealing Christ to many people – through song, through decoration, through story. And through us.
We who know Jesus can tell others about him through the songs of this season, the decorations of this season, and the age-old story of Jesus’ birth.
I pray that is exactly what you will do!
©2016 True Men Ministries