Advent Reflections Day 19: Nurturing the work of God

“Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.” Luke 1.56

Christmas is one of those times of the year when you want to have all your friends around you. Catching up on a year that’s gone by and thinking about the year ahead or even just a bit of general chit chat that has no particular agenda – nor does it need one.

There is something about having around you people you are close to, whether friends or family.

Mary had Elizabeth. Gabriel had already informed Mary that her cousin Elizabeth was pregnant, after a life time of barrenness. The bond that already existed between Mary and Elizabeth was further strengthened and deepened by their surprise pregnancies.

Mary visited Elizabeth and stayed with her for three months. Their excitement for each other and for themselves spilled over into prophetic encouragement. We are not told why Mary visited Elizabeth. It was a fair distance for Mary to travel, since Elizabeth lived in the Judean hill country – a journey she would make once again some months later.

The story of Mary and Elizabeth and their three months together remind us of the part that true fellowship and friendship plays in helping us to nurture what God is doing in us.

We need people around us with whom we have a deep sense of connection. We need to give plenty of time to those relationships. And we need the spirit of prophecy that flows as we invest in each other’s lives and ultimately in what God is doing in us.

This Christmas, why not reflect on the quality of your relationships and determine to invest time in them in the new year that lies before you? Relationships that will provide encouragement. Relationships that will attract the presence and blessing of God’s Spirit. Relationships that will help to nurture what God is doing within you.

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