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December 19th

Heaven to earth

Day 19

Luke 1:39-45

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she
entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the
child leapt in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud
cry, 'Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this
happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of
your greeting, the child in my womb leapt for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there
would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.'

This passage can for many people be a difficult one.

However, reading it through a number of times before sitting down in front of my keyboard, I was
struck by some words of Elizabeth in verse 43; "And why has this happened to me......"

"Why me?" is so often and understandably a cry from the heart in times of difficulty, tragedy,
sickness, loss and trouble. Why should this happen to me, what have I done to deserve this?

In the context of this passage though, the words of Elizabeth are tied up with a sense of being
unworthy, undeserving and of not being good enough.

Why, she exclaims should the mother of my Lord come to me? In other words, who am I that this
should happen to me?

Perhaps one of the reasons why self-help books are so popular and the problem pages of
magazines are read so eagerly stems from the fact that we do not think much of ourselves and
that we can so often feel unworthy and undeserving.

Christmas is about God and his love for all. A love that is not about whether it is deserved or not,
or the recipients being worthy enough.

The final line of the Christmas record "I believe in Father Christmas" sung by Greg Lake says "The
Christmas we get we deserve".

None of us deserve God's love and yet, this is what is at the very heart of Christmas, for from the
manger pours forth an extravagant, generous, lavish, excessive, profligate love for each and every
person. A love that is unconditional and beyond our understanding.

Prayer

Gracious God, we thank you that you love us for who we are. Help us to claim that love and know
that we are of worth and value to you. May we share your love with all we meet each and every
day. Amen.

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