December 20 – Day 20
Ornament – Elizabeth
After decades of mute majesty, miracles, long marinated, began falling like manna, melting in the mouth of His people, bringing taste to what they would soon see.
Zechariah’s name had never been drawn. It might never be, for in the life of a priest, many names were never drawn to offer incense in the Holy of Holies. Once drawn, it was an unrepeatable honor. Though his division of priests had been called to Jerusalem, fingers finding the one piece of wood with Zechariah’s name inscribed upon it, amongst hundreds of other markers, was a longer shot than Zechariah thought could be aimed for him. But when miracles begin to meld, the cry carries the name least expected.
Zechariah, trembling, entered the temple. In his right hand, was carried the pan for the incense, heavy and hot with live coals. His left hand held a spoon like vessel called a ‘kaf’ which carried the incense. At the altar, the incense would be taken from the spoon and placed upon the burning coals. Zechariah didn’t intend for the contents of his hands to careen to the floor, to hit ground so holy. There was nothing for it, when Heaven came and handed him a fragile promise.
Elizabeth had passed the age for her womb to wield the wonder of a child. But when silence shatters after four hundred years, a womb awakens and bears the weight of a boy, bound for wilderness and way making.
While entered into confinement, Elizabeth heard rap upon door and welcomed a relative, also full with promise.
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
What awe must have anchored them within those walls! Elizabeth, already having passed through menopause, would have had no physical sign of the babe inside, until that moment. Until the impossible inside her leapt at the presence of the possibility, dwelling within Mary.
‘Dalag’ is the Hebrew word for “leap.” This was no tender twitch. This was a springing step, a wondrous whirl, a joyous jump! This was worship of a King who had not yet crowned.
At John’s jig, Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Like those who would carry the growing Church child in the womb of the Way, Elizabeth began to speak of things she had not known, as if they had always been.
Filled and fellowshipped, Elizabeth recognized that it was the Christ Mary carried. She called Him, cried out to Him, “Lord” the same name she found upon her lips before the God who sent Him. Hers was the first confession of Christ!
Leapt joy, led to great rejoicing. The proclamation of Elizabeth, prompted Mary to praise.
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 the generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me. Luke 1: 47-49
Mary did not make the Magnificat beneath the hovering angel who announced Jesus. She bore it when in the presence of one who recognized Him. Magnificent.
As these marveled maidens rejoiced, I wonder if they had the nimblest notion that they were praising a prophecy.
At that time Jesus, rejoiced through the Holy Spirit and said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you are please to do.” Luke 10: 21-22
Rejoicing led Elizabeth and Mary to prayer and praise. No different would it be for Jesus. After He leapt, joyed, He joined His Father. He was found fellowshipping, celebrating souls sealed in salvation.
I don’t know about anyone else, but the thought of Jesus leaping, springing up like a well, because of who Pappa was to Him, well, I just want to let it rise. From me.
I grew up where dancing wasn’t allowed. My dad’s (who is awesome, for reals) defense was related to the ramifications if Jesus happened upon me doing so.
My grandmother wasn’t allowed to dance either. She broke barriers in her community when she simply raised her hands during hymns.
I hope I’m right to rebel. He moves me in ways I can’t describe, that I can’t express without the bones in my body. He meets me in my marrow. How do you simplify that? How do you squelch it? How does one squander something such as that and not spend it on a world that needs to rejoice, to be met and moved?
It feels a little funny, but Jesus doesn’t cause me to dance, He is my dance. He is dance. He moves me and I am melded.