when the wait seems too long…the embrace

Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free
From our fears and sins release us
Let us find our rest in Thee.

The people of Israel had been waiting…while in captivity in Babylon, through their rebuilding of their homeland, during the Roman occupation.

Messiah?! When are You coming to deliver us?

And they waited, and they waited; some still wait today.

God didn’t just want to deliver His people again from their physical fears and oppression.

He wanted to save them, from the inside out. To set them free within.

His plan was and is Jesus. Immanuel, God with us.

When the waiting is long, we tend to get fixed on how we think things should be when we get our answer to our prayer, don’t we? We begin to picture it in our minds, and expect it in our hearts.

But God doesn’t like being boxed in by human expectations.

For He is bigger than that, uncontainable in His Godness.

Yet, in the long awaited unfurling of His plan, He contained Himself within Mary, in a act that set off a chain reaction for the rest of time into eternity.

He demonstrated God could live within man…by the power of the Holy Spirit.

God acted so we could know God can be with us. Not just with, but within us. Always.

Apart from God Himself, i believe no one understood this miracle more than Mary.

God extended an invitation to Mary, allowing Jesus to move in.

That same invitation is available for us all.

The wait may have been long, but what a present awaits us, freshly opened Christmas eve.

God’s presence was the present the world had been waiting for.

His embrace is the grace of the gift of God with us, not the familiar of God set apart the world had become accustomed to.

Mary carried Jesus for 9 months, waiting and longing for the day she would meet her Messiah dace to face. I am sure Mary was also inwardly terrified at the wonder of it all. The God she worshipped living with her, to be born to live in the community He came to bring into His embrace.

The embrace is the point of the wait.

When we haven’t seen a loved one for a long time, there is something about that embrace we share when we are reunited.

That is the exact embrace God delivered & offered us all on Christmas Eve:

Come, I am waiting for you.
I am with you.
I love you.
Welcome Home.



John’s birth announcement

Ever wonder what John’s birth announcement would have looked like? That’s where my mind went last night.

Imagine the birth announcement in the paper….

photo of Zachariah, infant John & Elizabeth, with godmother Mary

“With each child, the world begins anew!”

With great surprise
& overwhelming joy,
we announce
the safe arrival of
son of Zachariah
& Elizabeth

weighing 7 pounds 3 ounces

born July 24th
in Hill Country, Judea

In lieu of gifts, the family ask for every prayer offerings for the coming Messiah.

And then imagine the local news coverage of the event…

On July 24th, a long awaited miracle took place in our small town. Local priest Zachariah and his elderly wife Elizabeth shockingly gave birth to a healthy young boy after decades of fruitlessness.

In another unexpected twist, bucking tradition, their son
John was not given a traditional family name. Instead, he was named, as an inside source explained, by God as relayed through the angel Zachariah saw in the temple while working. This occurred right before he lost his ability to speak, only a short whole before Elizabeth went missing until well into her pregnancy.

The parents give all the credit to their late in life conception to the Creator, and are deeply moved at His miraculous answer to their dream of having a child.

On John’s naming day August 2nd, amidst all the upheaval over the parents’ choice of name, Zachariah’s speech was restored!

He apparently had way too much wine in celebration, and uttered some strange poetic verses over John once he was able to speak again…

Despite some of the quirks to this story, it is apparent that God has blessed this couple with a late in life bundle they are delighted to have received, and we should keep an eye out for what God may have in store for this special boy.


trusting His timing

Mary’s story continues on in Luke, and overlaps that of Elizabeth…

We pick up the story with a newly pregnant Mary immediately leaving to go visit her cousin Mary, who is now 6 months pregnant.

Elizabeth has only just recently returned home, as the Bible tells us she went off on her own for 5 months to enjoy her pregnancy after waiting so many years to become pregnant.

Now Mary would have taken a bit to get from Nazareth to the hill country of Judah, but as the Romans had been busy building roads, she likely might have had a quicker journey as a result.

Either way, the story tells us she went straight to Zachariah’s house & greeted Elizabeth. (Luke 1:39)

And that’s when this adventure takes an unusual twist….

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby in her womb (John) leaped. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and sang out exuberantly…

Luke 1:40

I don’t know about you, but when I say hi to a relative, I don’t usually expect them to break out in prophetic song in response! But since we already know this is an unusual time orchestrated by a fantastic God, a little exuberance isn’t that unexpected!

Elizabeth, as told via Holy Spirit, blesses Mary as the mother of her Lord, Messiah. Not only that, but also tells her how Mary was a

blessed woman, who believed what God said, believed every word would come true!


Other than God, at this point no one else knew Mary was pregnant. The first thing she did was leave to visit Elizabeth.

Which considering the miracle taking place in her life, made sense Mary would want to be with someone else living out a dream like miracle!

The wonder of Elizabeth knowing her news without Mary saying a word, leads Mary to praise God in a beautiful passage (Luke 1:46-55)

She knew the miracle taking place- not only was Israel’s delivered coming, but she had been given the honor to bear the Messiah!

God chose well, did He not?

This section in Luke 1 closes with vs 56…a bit of a teaser for what is to come in the continuation of Elizabeth & Zachariah’s part of the Advent adventure:

Mary stays for 3 months.

If you were paying attention, Mary arrived when Elizabeth was 6 month’s pregnant.

My guess is Mary stayed for the birth. I believe she would have been encouraged to see Elizabeth’s miracle unfold before her, and it would have given her increased hope that God was watching out for her own future.

#TheMaryChronicles will return on Friday, after we officially meet the next addition to the #AdventuresofAdvent!