Standing in the waiting area of BNA (Nashville Airport) I had the opportunity to witness and participate in one of the most memorable and joyous experiences of recent days. The attendant came on the loud speaker and announced that everyone should wait as until servicemen returning home for the holidays disembarked the plane. I had observed this scene on video and news stories, but never in person. Looking around I noticed children dressed in camo holding American Flags and welcome home daddy signs and tears beginning to swell in the eyes of women standing nearby. Almost immediately seven US Soldiers stepped through the jetway.  For a moment time stood still; then thunderous applause and shouts of joy filled the air. The moment was surreal watching wives and children reuniting with husbands and fathers. Patriotic pride filled my soul while celebratory tears filled my eyes.

This type of joy and celebration is recorded in Luke 1:39-45. Ready to serve but also anxious to see evidence of God’s other miracle, Mary headed for the hill country to visit relatives. First words of greeting brought encouraging confirmation in two ways: the baby (John the Baptist) jumped in the womb and the Spirit spoke. Spirit-inspired words from Elizabeth rained blessing on Mary. They distinguished her from all other women. She had God’s grace and presence in unique measure, but not in measure that lifted her up for eternal praise and worship. Mary’s blessing came not from who she was or would become. Mary’s blessing came from the holy baby whom she carried in her womb.  Elizabeth proclaimed, “She who has believed is blessed”.

Two things immediately illuminate before us. First, we are blessed to be the sons and daughters of God. Second, because of the blessing of God on our life, we should be a blessing to others. In Genesis 12 we hear the words of the Lord to Abraham; “I will make you into a great nation, I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.” Genesis 12:2 (NASB)

As time permits reflect on God’s blessings on your life. Write them and place the list inside your Bible. Spend time in prayer offering praise and thanksgiving for these good and gracious gifts. Consider how you can bless others as God has blessed you. Move beyond the head and heart and do something tangible for someone today.

Enjoy the journey!

Then she exclaimed with a loud cry: “You are the most blessed of women, and your child will be blessed!”         Luke 1:42 (HCSB)