Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Calm Before The Storm

Mary immediately got up and hurried to the hill country, in the province of Judah, where her cousins Zacharias and Elizabeth lives. When Mary entered their home and greeted Elizabeth, who felt her baby leap in her womb, Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:39-41 The Voice

It's happening again. John knows something - again. But how?

Elizabeth has always known that her child John was special. She thought she would never have children, then an angel appears to Zacharias telling him that they will have a baby. He didn't believe the angel, and because of this he is mute for the next nine months. (Imagine a pregnant woman and a mute guy in the same house . . . I don't envy them.) Then, her cousin Mary arrives at her door and the baby John jumps in her womb.

Jumps. As a fetus. A child that has not been born yet and is still developing. He was at about six months when Elizabeth saw Mary. To the right is a picture of a baby at 6 months while developing in the womb. At this point in development (according to web sties I Googled) the baby's brain is beginning to recognize touch and even a bit of light. The brain development is beginning to get really intense at this point. But it's just starting . . .

How can an unborn child at this stage leap in his mother's womb knowing that something special is going on? This must be some amazing kid coming into the world . . .

Fast forward about a year . . . John is now a 6 month old child. Healthy, happy, and in his mother's caring arms. It's happening again. Elizabeth knows that Mary and Jospeh have probably arrived in Bethlehem and Mary is about to give birth to her own amazing baby boy.

And John begins to tremble. So Elizabeth sings him to sleep.

It's okay, little one. Don't dismay little one. You're just a babe, how can you be trembling?

Lullabys are amazing things. Over Thanksgiving I was able to meet my friends 2 month old boy along with a few other friends. At one point my friend S was holding baby E and began to sing him to sleep. Now, you must realize, S has a wonderful voice. But it was amazing to see how E was suddenly calm as she sang to him.

As I was brain storming for this blog Pastor M told me a story about how when his daughter L was a baby he would sing her to sleep. Now that she's older she says that her favorite hymn is "Christ Be My Leader" . . . the same song her dad used to sing to her as a baby.

So Elizabeth sings him a song.

But, it's not just about soothing John. It's almost a prophetic song that Todd Agnew puts into Elizabeth's mouth. Elizabeth knows what's going on. She knows exactly what's going on.

It's alright, little one, He's come tonight, little one; the one that you and the world have been waiting for. Sleep well, sweet dreams, you need your rest, or so it seems. Sleep well, come what may, for God has come and you must prepare the way.

Like Jesus, John is not your ordinary baby. No, he's not the Son of God or anything like that. But he has a destiny that Elizabeth is incredibly aware of.  He is the one who is to prepare the way for Jesus. To get everyone ready. He is the one who is to bring the good news to others. "The delight of the blind and the barren."

But there is more . . . among this joy and peace and happiness . . . Elizabeth knows that there is more to come. 
Enjoy the peace; it may be the calm before the storm.

When I watch movies I hate it when everything is "too good" or "too quiet" because I know something bad is coming. I think in this song, Elizabeth knows that something is coming. 

We all have to face storms don't we? 

But John the Baptist, his storm is so much different than ones we face. Persecution, being thrown in jail, and eventually being beheaded for paving the way for Jesus. Storms we probably will never face in our lives. Thinking of this, Elizabeth's song isn't just about John anymore.

Messiah's come to save the world, and he has chosen our place in time. God has given us his son, but why must he ask me for mine?

I am not a mother, and I probably won't be anytime soon. But I know that Elizabeth must have struggled with having to give her son to fulfill God's purpose for him. She would want to protect her child. Sheild him from the storm. But she can't. She has to let him go. 

Pastor M told me another story about when his daughter L was a baby. They were traveling to Texas by plane. L was sitting on her mom's lap, fussing and acting like the ADHD child she was. PM saw that there was a storm coming and took her out of her mother's arms and placed her in his. She didn't fuss anymore. Mom of course was not very happy about this and asked him why he did this. He simply pointed to the black clouds. 

She was in the arms of her father.

Elizabeth someday would have to give up John. But he would be in the arms of his Father. 

Sleep well, sweet dreams. You need your rest, or so it seems. Sleep well, come what may. For God has come, and you must prepare the way.

Have a listen to Elizabeth's Lullaby: Sleep Well- Elizabeth's Lullaby

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