December 17, 2021 • Life for Leaders
Scripture – Luke 1:41-45 (NRSV)
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And 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. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”
Calling and identity are dialectical. We are called by God and we are also called by others. Before we see ourselves, others point out our gifts, skill sets and leadership potential. First comes the calling; then comes the naming. Calling is not without community. And calling comes with vulnerability.
Elizabeth heard Mary’s voice come across the threshold of her house and she was filled with the Holy Spirit. Her womb instinct was to call back in benediction and declaration at what the Spirit revealed to her about her cousin! The woman and the womb had been blessed by God. Elizabeth’s womb was telling her so! Not only that, the baby in that womb was her Lord. What a salvific confession! I love how Elizabeth calls out what she sees the Lord has deposited in Mary.
Calling and identity are dialectical. We are called by God and we are also called by others. Before we see ourselves, others point out our gifts, skill sets and leadership potential. First comes the calling; then comes the naming. Calling is not without community. And calling comes with vulnerability. Think about the vulnerability of these two women. Societally, Elizabeth had probably endured much deferred hope and waiting to have a child. Now, God had remembered and heard her long prayers at her older age. Think about Mary being pregnant with a child and not yet wed to Joseph. The plans of God are high risk! Yet, God sends us messengers to confirm and affirm the calling in us, the invisible hope before there is a visible manifestation of that calling.
How about you? Who were those mentors, teachers, coaches, friends, parents, or siblings that helped speak into your life? How did they speak to you? I often find that it is not so much a clean one-time event that calls us, but a consistent whisper that awakens us to calling and vocation. Rather than ask, “What do you want to do with your life?”, instead my brother once asked me, “Inés, what is it that you do, that when you do it you feel beyond yourself and it makes you soar?” It was a different question. It hit a different nerve. It awakened my imagination. It even resisted societal or familial expectations.
May you lean into the Elizabeths in your life that call out the calling of God on your life in every season, from vulnerability to vulnerability.
Who speaks into your life? Who knows your joys, fears, vulnerabilities, sensibilities, and sharp edges?
Connect with a trusted mentor or a spiritual conversation partner and converse about the work that God is doing in you, in this particular season. Listen together to what the Holy Spirit might reveal.
God of love and relationships, we thank you that you exist in the Trinitarian community and have created us for community. Thank you for the calling of Elizabeth to see and say what the Spirit had revealed unto her about Mary. May we find an Elizabeth in our life who mothers grace in us. May we be the Elizabeth in someone else’s life to dispense the grace that we have received from you. Spirit, knit us together for our good and for your glory. Amen.
Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the unique website of our partners, the Theology of Work Project. An article on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: Women Happily Accept Significant Work (Luke 1)
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Inés is an ordained pastor, preacher, reconciler, writer, and speaker. We are pleased to feature Inés as a regular Life for Leaders writer.
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