The Visitation- Christmas Reflections for Mary and Elizabeth (Luke 1)

old and young hands

Mary entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
– Luke 1:40

There They Stand
There they stand
breathless
belly to belly
the maid and the elder cousin
full of grace and truth

John leaps for joy
Covered in the flesh of Elizabeth
Unborn, yet already at work
In the wilderness of her womb
He will not wait to make the Way known

Elizabeth extends her arthritic hands
One wrapping Mary in welcome
The other in blessing
Encompassing the inexperienced traveler
in affirmation of faith

Worship overwhelms worry
In the sanctuary of her solace
Mary is safe enough to sing

Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said… The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.”
– Luke 1:38, 49

As You Have Said
Revel and Rejoice
Praise and Proclaim
Magnify
Glorify
Adore

Our Steadfast Savior
Mindful of our frailty
Looks on our lowliness
and responds with greatness
Great grace and Greater grace
for us and for all

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord
God of power and might
Heaven and earth are full of Your glory
It is as you have said

Your mercy extends
Floods and Flows
Through time and place
Through need and pain
Body and Soul to
Soul to Soul to Soul to…

You show true strength
Bringing down those who bow the knee to no one
Scattering those who set up their own kingdoms
be it castle or corporation
Revealing it to be ashes
and emptiness

You show true strength
Lifting up those bowed low
Face in the dirt
Bearing the weight of excess and greed
Buried beneath crushing injustice

You show true strength
Raising up
Filling up
Faithful, Covenant Keeper
Remembering and
Re-membering

Revel and Rejoice
Praise and Proclaim
Magnify
Glorify
Adore

It is and will be
as You have said
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord

Click Here to read the scriptures for these reflections, Luke 1:39-56

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There They Stand © 2010 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
As You Have Said © 2014 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
by Lisa Degrenia (www.revlisad.com)
Please leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Poem: There They Stand (Luke 1:39-56)

old and young hands2014 Bible Reading Plan for Christmas
Day 4 Reading: Luke 1:39-56
Mary Visits Elizabeth

She entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
– Luke 1:40

Poem: There They Stand
There they stand
breathless
belly to belly
the maid and the elder cousin
full of grace and truth

John leaps for joy
Covered in the flesh of Elizabeth
Unborn, yet already at work
In the wilderness of her womb
He will not wait to make the Way known

Elizabeth extends her arthritic hands
One wrapping Mary in welcome
The other in blessing
Encompassing the inexperienced traveler
in affirmation of faith

Worship overwhelms worry
In the sanctuary of her solace
Mary is safe enough to sing

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This post is part of the 2014 Bible Reading Plan for Christmas. Click here for more information, including a list of all the readings.

Prayer: There They Stand © 2010 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on the art and the use of this post in other settings,
please refer to the copyright information page.

Hymn Text: The Fullness of You

This Advent, I’ve been struck by all the places in the story of Jesus’ birth where folks are “filled”.

  • Zechariah, Elizabeth and their unborn baby John are all filled with the Holy Spirit.
  • After receiving instruction in a dream, Joseph is filled with assurance to go ahead and take Mary as his wife.
  • Mary receives a unique filling. She becomes the Theotokos, the “God-bearer”, full of Word and Grace and Love and Truth made flesh in her womb.
  • The angels are filled with song and the shepherds are filled with joy at the news the Messiah is born.
  • Herod is filled with fear.
  • The wise ones are filled with curiosity over the magnificent star, then a sense of purpose to find the newborn King, then awe as they meet him, then wisdom to go home another way.
  • Anna and Simeon are filled with peace, knowing the promises of God are fulfilled in the child they have the chance to bless.

Filled by the Holy Spirit, a quilt by Lisa Ellis

This filling carries over into those first followers of Jesus. Read through the Acts of the Apostles. They are filled and filled and filled with the Holy Spirit again and again. Through that filling, they are able to preach Jesus boldly and do powerful works of healing.

To see visible objects we need the eyes of the body.
To understand intelligible truths we need the eyes of the mind.
To have the vision of divine things we cannot do without faith.
What the eye is for the body, faith is for reason.
To be more precise; the eye needs the light which puts it in contact with visible things;
reason needs faith to show it divine things. -Theodoret

The same can happen to us. Are we praying for full-fill-ment? Are we seeking the fullness of God with all our hearts? Paul is one of many who prays for it for. Let’s follow his example. You will find his beautiful petition in Ephesians 3:14-19. The new lyric you find below is based on this text, especially the last three verses.

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

The Fullness of You
based on Ephesians 3:17-19

I desire the fullness of You
The height and the depth
The length and the breadth
Oh God I desire the fullness
Of Your love, Your love in Christ Jesus

Root me in Your love
Establish those roots to the core of Your heart
Root me in Your love
Grow them deep, grow them true
Tapping into the fullness of You

I desire the fullness of You
The height and the depth
The length and the breadth
Oh God I desire the fullness
Of Your love, Your love in Christ Jesus

Grant me Your power
Together with all who choose to believe
Grant us Your power
Light our minds, Shine right through
Till we grasp the vast fullness of You

I want to know Your love
A love that surpasses all knowledge
The full measure of Your love
You are Love, my Love, our Love, our first Love

We desire the fullness of You
The height and the depth
The length and the breadth
Oh God we desire the fullness
Of Your love, Your love in Christ Jesus

© 2010 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.
Lisa is especially interested in collaborating with someone to set this text to music.