12 words till Christmas · Advent · Shelter · Sin

6 words till Christmas… shelter…

The word comes today… and I wonder…
Is that a Christmas word…?
shelter…?

shelter… something that covers or affords protection… a position or the state of being covered and protected…

—Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Ed.

 I consider the Christmas story… and find some seeking shelter…

Elizabeth took shelter in her home after becoming pregnant…

After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months
she kept herself hidden, saying, “Thus the Lord has done for me
in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach
among the people.”
Luke 1:24 ESV
Up to this point… Elizabeth had been barren…
she and Zechariah had no children…
To be childless in the Jewish tradition…
was to be cursed by God… 
A house full of children…
proved his favor and blessing…
Elizabeth in her old age sheltered herself at home…
five months she praised God… for taking away her reproach from among the community…
but she didn’t go out in public… till proof of a swollen belly revealed God’s blessing…
Who would have believed her…?
if she told neighbors… friends… of the coming birth…?!
They would have chided her even more…
so she waited… and took shelter in Him…
Shelter…

Mary… she took shelter under Zechariah’s and Elizabeth’s roof too…
hurrying to their home after the angel left her…
And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb.
And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry,
“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
And why is this granted me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby
in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there
would be fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” …
And Mary remained with her about three months and returned home.
Luke 1:41-45, 56 ESV
None would believe the story of Mary…
a virgin overshadowed by God Most High…
to bear a Son…
But here with Elizabeth…
filled with the revelation of the Holy Spirit…
Mary found a place of protection…
to come to grips with what was happening…
to solidify her faith… and resolve…
to let it be… as He had said…
Shelter…

Mary and Joseph couldn’t find a room in an inn…
but they did find shelter in a barn… and a manger filled with hay…
and swaddling cloths… to lay baby Jesus in…
Shelter…
I’m feeling the need for a little shelter myself today…
and I realize… the One in the manger…
the One born in a barn…
came to bring us the ultimate shelter…
from the sin of the world…
the storm stirred up by rebellion against His Word…
He is our Shelter from the storm…
the storm of sin and doubt in our lives…
and that brought on by others…
One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.
For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will lift me high upon a rock. And now my head
shall be lifted up above the enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.
Psalm 27:4-6 ESV
Shelter…
an Advent word…
I seek today…

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