Today’s scripture: Luke 1:39-45 (ESV-text and audio) (KJV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Steve Adams):

Mary and Elizabeth show how spiritual fireworks can erupt when two people of faith get together.

With a seemingly insignificant greeting to Elizabeth, the baby — destined to be John the Baptist — leaped in Elizabeth’s womb! Mary gave a precious gift to Elizabeth, a message that she delivered in the following verses; and then stayed with her for about three months. Think of the special companionship these two women must have shared as Mary was carrying the Savior, and Elizabeth, the one who was to prepare His way!

I think Mary and Elizabeth show what qualities make a Christian gathering powerful, whether it be two friends, a small Oasis or cell group, or a worship service. They were both encouraged by each others’ faith.

In Romans 1:12, Paul writes of this very thing — mutual faith and the encouragement it provides — as being the motivator for him to see the saints in Rome. So, when we go to church, we can always try to bring our faith with us. Sometimes for me, it’s more like “Lord I believe, help my unbelief!” But the goal of any Christian fellowship is an increase of faith! And there’s always the possibility of spiritual gifts being imparted between believers (Romans 1:11). When I encounter a faith-filled person in church, my heart and soul is refreshed. It’s kind of like heaven on earth!

Since this is about Advent, it’s about waiting — waiting for something good to come. Mary and Elizabeth’s generation was looking forward to the Lord Jesus Christ coming the first time to save the world. Today we are waiting for Him to come again to establish His reign forever. And what’s the best way to wait? With other people of faith! Sometimes our waiting in faith takes the form of Sunday worship. Other times it’s in helping others, as in visiting the sick or assisting the homeless. But, the power of mutual faith is always at the core of powerful Christian fellowship.

Thought for the day: What are some ways I can add my unique faith to the mutual faith of the church?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.