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W2W 12 Days of Christmas Day 4

On the 4th Day of Christmas my First Love gave to me:

A loving friend

Last week I enjoyed a fantastic morning with a wonderful group of women, whom I love. You can imagine the noise of laughter and chatter that filled the cafe. I believe that friendship is a beautiful gift from God and I often give thanks to him for the relationships I have in my life.

God created us for relationship, to first of all be in a precious relationship with him. The bible says in John 15 that “There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends” and that’s what Jesus did for us, his friends. However God also wants us to enjoy the gift of relationship with each other. In the book of Philippians we read we are to value others. In Proverbs it tells us that a friend loves always. And one of my favourite verses regarding friendship comes from the book of Ecclesiastes “If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up”.

In today’s instalment of the Christmas story we read that Mary makes a journey to visit her friend. After the angel told Mary she would give birth to a son, he also gave her information that no-one else at that time knew. He told her that her relative Elizabeth was also with child. Elizabeth was in her elderly years and had tried for a baby for a long time so this news, quite like Mary’s own news, was rather miraculous.

Mary made the journey to see Elizabeth in faith. In order to confirm what the angel had shared was true, and to share in the amazing news that Elizabeth was carrying her own child. We don’t know exactly how long Mary stayed, probably around 3 months. And I often think of these two women together during that time. What did they do, what did they talk about? I think Mary will have shared with Elizabeth her fears and her concerns of having the baby and fears about Joseph’s reaction. Perhaps Elizabeth had her own fears also. And I believe they did as Ecclesiastes says, they picked each other up.

They came from different places and were at different stages in their lives. However, God is not restricted by things like distance or even by time. We read that when the two women came together, the baby within Elizabeth leapt inside of her and she was filled with the Holy Spirit. (Luke 1v41). She was greatly blessed and was filled with joy. Her first encounter with Jesus, even as a baby still in the womb, brought her great joy.

Do you know that joy? Elizabeth’s life would never be the same again as Jesus became her saviour and he brought her a precious friend in Mary.

God brought Mary into her life so she would encounter Jesus. Is there someone in your life right now that God has placed for such a time as this? Why not share the true meaning of Christmas with them this year and pray their hearts leap with Joy.

Just one encounter with Jesus is enough to transform a heart, a heart that leaps with joy at the blessing of the greatest friend you will ever have - Jesus



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