December 20, 2012 #607

Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” (Luke 1:41b-42 NRSV)

I enjoy the children in the Treehouse Nursery School that meets in Trinity’s fellowship hall every day. They add so much life to this place. My favorite group is the Monday/Wednesday/Friday morning group. Somehow they have gotten into the habit of shouting “hi pastor” almost every time I DEV_12-20-12-2-235x300appear. Sometimes it might be one or two students while other times a whole bunch of them shout the greeting. Of course I shout back “hi students”. Lynn has been working on us to try and get us to use our indoor voices. But so far it is not working. I think of those children when I read that upon Mary’s arrival at her house Elizabeth filled with the Holy Spirit “exclaimed with a loud cry”. Elizabeth is shouting as one using a megaphone. Both mega (translated as loud) and ana-phone (translated as exclaimed) are used to describe Elizabeth response. One scholar translated the phrase as “She shouted with a great shriek”. The point is, Elizabeth did not use an indoor voice when she was proclaiming her praise to God. Filled with the Holy Spirit she shouted the news. Next week we gather to celebrate one of the greatest events that has ever happened, God coming to earth in human form. The birth of Jesus in a manger is one that needs to be shouted through a megaphone to all those around us. But I sometimes wonder if that is the case? I wonder how many Christians really share the great news of Jesus birth? How many people actually place Santa Claus, gathering with family, opening presents, etc before worshipping the coming of the Christ child. As we gather next week many will be singing the following carol: ‘”Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere; go tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born!” My hope and prayer is that everyone will not just whisper the news of Jesus birth to others, but rather proclaim it loudly to others even using a megaphone if needed.