Do you speak proudly about your faith, about your beliefs? If there was one thing that you could say in relation to your faith, one thing that you feel passionate about, that every person would stop and listen to, what would it be? It can be tough, speaking out about your beliefs. I recently did a research journal project, with the topic of finding liberation through he story of the woman caught in adultery, and it was challenging to speak so passionately, so securely about my faith, when there was only one other religious studies presentation and the rest were other topics in social science and English. When you're one of the few speaking out, you may feel self conscious and not 'respectively considerate' of everyone else. However, the thing about faith, is that it's more than about being comfortable, about our own lives, but about making a drastic impact on the lives of others. Think about how Jesus led his ministry on earth. Are you ready and willing to speak out?
Today's Gospel states:'In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechari'ah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord." And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm, he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts, he has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever." And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home' (Luke 1:39-56).
In today's Gospel, we hear Elizabeth proclaiming the goodness of God, towards Mary and the child within her womb. She doesn't think twice before sharing her faith, her love with Mary. In doing so, Mary was comforted, it was a sign from God to her that though the journey ahead may be challenging, she has support and love. We try to keep to ourselves in this modern world, perhaps thinking our neighbour might think 'different ' of us for recognizing God and our faith in the open, while also inviting others into this same faith. It's time to take a step, like Elizabeth, like Mary, and continually share the Good News of God in our everyday lives. Take some time to strategies areas where you can speak truth to others in your life and ask God to help you be confident in recognizing His love.
Today's prayer comes from 'where the spirit leads' a prayer to know and speak the truth:
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I claim the protection of the belt of truth, described in Ephesians 6:14. I pray its protection over my personal life, my home and family, and the ministry God has appointed for my life. I use the belt of truth directly against satan and his kingdom of darkness. I embrace Him who is the truth, the Lord Jesus Christ, as my strength and protection from all of satan’s deceptions.
I desire that the truth of God’s Word shall constantly gain a deeper place in my life. I pray that the truth of the Word of God may be my heart’s delight to study and memorize.
Forgive me for my sins of not speaking the truth. Show me any way in which I am being deceived.
I ask the Holy Spirit to warn me before I deceive anyone and to protect me always from believing satan’s lies. Thank You, Lord, for making my local church a pillar and foundation for Your truth in my life. Help me to relate to my church and give protection to others as well as receive it myself.
I see, Lord Jesus Christ, that my ability to be strong and to do Your will requires the stabilizing power of the belt of truth. Thank You for providing this part of the armor. Amen.