Sadly, I don't preach tomorrow--my only Sunday off this month. Nevertheless, I couldn't help but take at least a peek at the Gospel reading for tomorrow. In the 3-year lectionary, the Gospel reading is Luke 1:39-45 (46-56). This is such a rich text, saying so much about John, Mary, Elizabeth, and Jesus.
As always, I can't help but wonder that an unborn child knows his Savior. I don't know the why or the wherefore; I only know what God reveals to us through His Word. So I'm not going to ask how the Spirit made that happen. What I do know, though, is that John was alive. The Bible speaks clearly here that the pre-born child is alive. I will never be able to understand how Christians can claim to hold to the teachings of the Bible and yet deny that what resides in the womb of a pregnant woman is a living being.
A friend of mine lost her pre-born child this week, and I mourn with her. It is a terrible burden to bury a child. Yet we know from John's example that even the babe in the womb can recognize his Savior. I am confident with the sure hope which faith provides that my friend and her child will be reunited with all believers when Christ returns in glory and raises up the dead and calls all believers to Himself.
By the way, a while back I posted a hymn I wrote concerning this text. I post it here again
The Highly Favored Mary Went
1. The highly favored Mary went,
Her pregnant joy to share.
Elizabeth, herself with child,
Received her sister there.
2. Elizabeth heard Mary's word
Of greeting in her ear,
And in her womb her own babe leapt
To know his Lord was near.
3. Though not yet born, John still rejoiced,
For now his task began--
"Prepare His way," would be his work.
"He comes, redeeming man."
4. The Spirit filled Elizabeth
And loudly she exclaimed,
"Mother of God, how blest are you!
Your fruit by all acclaimed."
5. How blest are they who hear God's Word
Of promise and believe,
For all who hear that Word in faith
Its blessings shall receive.
(c) Alan Kornacki, Jr.
Common Meter (86 86)
Suggested Tune: St. Anne (LSB 733)