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Christmas Angels

Hear this read by Elizabeth:
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400 years of silence which ended with the faith of one woman.
4 weeks of waiting for us.
4 candles -
2 for the Old Testament- for us to remember God's Promise and the prophets;
2 for the New - to remember John the Baptist and Mary.
On this holder there is a star in between to guide
and an angel to tell the Good News.

Have you ever thought just how many people saw angels
at that first Christmas?
Mary, Joseph - and of course the shepherds who had the benefit of the whole heavenly host!

But have you ever thought of the one person who, as far as we know,
never saw an angel but whose faith started the New Testament?

Someone who believed the promises made to her at second hand;
who recognised Mary as the mother of Christ;
and who provided her young relative with a quiet home
at what must have been a very difficult time for her?

You'll have guessed by now that I'm talking about the person
whose name I share - Elizabeth.

You know the story.....Elizabeth was married to Zecharias -
but they had no children -
which in those days was a terrible disgrace especially for the woman involved!
Zecharias is chosen to burn incense in the temple -
something a priest waited all his life to do.
What a moment for a deep emotional experience -
and the angel Gabriel appears and says to him that Elizabeth
is to have a son - in spite of her age!
(Just how old was she, I wonder - 40........45 ?)

Zecharias' reaction? Not to believe it - so he is struck dumb.

But somehow he must have been able to tell his wife.
And her reaction? Total trusting acceptance.

There are only 2 recorded speaches of Elizabeth
but in both her faith and unselfishness shine out.

What a strange little household they must have made
- Zecharias in his enforced silence;
Mary in a safe haven away from the clacking tongues;
and Elizabeth with a younger pair of hands to help her
when she was just plain tired.

And so John is born to a mother who knew her Bible inside out
- for Elizabeth would have had to have been of the tribe of Levi
to have married a priest.

Oh, Elizabeth - you with the name which means "Promise of the Lord"-
you believed - and lived- that promise.

If only we all had your simply stunning faith!

A faith that had no need of angels!

copyright (c) Elizabeth Tolson 1998

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