Pausing in the In-Between

It was a day like any other day in the life-long ministry of Zacharias the priest.  With Elisabeth’s goodbye kiss still warm on his cheek, he went about his business, reporting for duty in his scheduled commitment to serve in the Temple.

It was a day like no other day when the honor of entering the most holy place fell to Zacharias, and his aging eyes found the burning incense eclipsed by angel light. Startling and strange, the heavenly messenger’s words hooked unbelief, earning Zacharias a nine-month sentence of mute pondering.  God’s four-hundred year silence was broken, leaving an elderly couple blinking and gasping at this new way of understanding the word impossible.

“Well stricken in years” is the delicate, traditional rendering, a state that would have made for a challenging pregnancy in any era — even if you are carrying the forerunner of the Messiah.  Like a spavined barn with tar paper siding, Elisabeth’s olden frame would have been covered with skin already stretched and sagging, but with joy she bore the bone-on-bone pain of an aging back and a heavy load.

Did she understand that her glorious passage from barren to fruitful was more a rending of history than a miracle of gynecology?

//

It was a December day like any other.  There was dog hair that needed to be vacuumed.  There were lessons that needed to be prepared.  There were emails unanswered and dishes unwashed.  By my calculation, Advent season includes the routine preparation of at least seventy-five meals on top of all the other holiday baking and decorating.

What does it take to transform those December days?

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Join me at SheLoves Magazine today and ponder with me the challenge of staying present to the wonder of the Word made flesh.

May God’s present-day proclamation land with power on your believing heart this season:
God is with us.
Nothing shall be impossible.

//

captureCounting down the days until the beginning of the book discussion group on C.S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces. Watch for a reading schedule on January 5!

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Michele Morin

Michele Morin is a teacher, blogger, reader, and gardener who finds joy in sitting at a table surrounded by women with open Bibles. She has been married to an unreasonably patient husband for over 25 years, and their four children are growing up at an alarming rate. Michele loves hot tea and well-crafted sentences, poems that stop her in her tracks and days at the ocean with the whole family. She laments biblical illiteracy and advocates for the prudent use of “little minutes.” She blogs at Living Our Days, and you can connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.

14 thoughts on “Pausing in the In-Between”

  1. Michele, I always enjoy your interpretation of scripture stories. So intelligently written and thought-provoking. I will mull on thoughts of Elizabeth’s joy today. Merry Christmas from your neighbor at #thoughtprovokingthursday.

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  2. What a powerful message you have unwrapped in these words, Michele:
    “May God’s present-day proclamation land with power on your believing heart this season:
    God is with us.
    Nothing shall be impossible.”
    Praying you have a blessed Christmas season with your loved ones! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A wonderful message again Michele, thank you! I have never given much thought to the age of Elizabeth in relation to sagging skin and aching joints. This brings a whole new dimension (for me at least) to the Christmas story. Mary was so young and the implications of her pregnancy (possibly getting stoned for being unfaithful) were challenging enough. But Elizabeth? My goodness! She is at the other end of the spectrum (quite literally) isn’t she? The pain her body suffered to bring the forerunner of Christ into the world, must have been very great. Two women with two very different burdens. It only magnifies the story even more. Thank you!

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    1. I was nearly forty when my fourth son was born, and it was a long nine months. I can’t even imagine how Elisabeth endured, but I’m sure that her joy had something to do with it. Thanks, Kelly, for reading.

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  4. Michele, I love, love, love this post, especially your quote, “But, if I stay present to the wonder of Word made flesh, my blunted perception is sharpened just enough to hear God’s present-day proclamation in words that bypass angel lips and star song, but land in power on the believing heart: ‘Nothing shall be impossible. God is with us.'” Leaning in to this precious Truth, these wonderful words of life today…many blessings to you ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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