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Tuesday Tidings Dec 5, 2022

Dearest Members of Bethlehem,

“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 leaped in her whom.” -Luke 1:39-42

This account of John leaping in the womb always brings me joy. It delights me to think that the Spirit was moving so powerfully, that John had to respond to Christ’s presence by jumping for joy!

But that can’t be the only image that captures our imagination. There’s another important piece worth celebrating. It’s right there at the beginning. “Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country.”

Yes, Mary was out making her rounds. Mary was visiting. This an art, and hopefully an art that has not been lost. We live much more hectic and private lives than we used to - so I would recommend calling ahead - but visiting is still important.

Making your way onto a neighbor’s front porch, or stopping by at the house of a friend can be a joyful interruption in an otherwise ordinary and maybe even stressful day. Just a few moments of catching up, sharing a memory, or passing along some news can lift the spirits of everyone involved.

But there is another layer here, something more to consider before we set up our next visit. You see, Mary’s visit to Zechariah and Elizabeth would have been special under any circumstances, but what made that visit really special is that Christ was there with her… it was Mary and Jesus’ presence that caused thanks and praise to be offered.

And yes, in our own way, we have the capacity to carry Christ into the world. We are encouraged to do so when we are baptized, and when we affirm our baptism. When you head out to socialize, enjoy every minute, but perhaps… just occasionally, be intentional about bringing Christ with you. The joy, the light, the generosity, and the grace… all of these wonderful gifts can be manifest in our spirits and ready to share as we interact with those we love and care about. And who knows, just that little extra prayer, just a quick bit of reflection to remind ourselves to be ambassadors of Christ might have those we are visiting leaping for joy.

Question for reflection: Which of your friends or family members are you always happy to hear from, is it time to reach out and share some well wishes or make some plans?

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