6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Elizabeth's song of praise teaches us that we can praise God for the blessings that he gives us in discouraging times in our lives.

One of the Christmas memories that our family enjoyed while our children were growing in Michigan as to take a night time dive looking at Christmas lights. Our friends Dave and Sue were a young married couple who did not yet have children and they would pile into our blue Chrysler min-van and tour with us. Dave was a Michigan native and knew where all of the best decorated houses were.

Every year, Dave would compile a “Christmas Mix” cassette tape to listen to as we drove through classy neighborhoods admiring the lights. Whenever I hear one the songs from Dave’s mix tape, I am brought back to those memories. I can recall those drives and even some of the funny moments we enjoyed on those Michigan winter nights.

Music is a powerful gift from God that moves our hearts. This Christmas series is about the “Songs of Christmas.” During our corporate worship we will talk about some of the songs that we sing and their meaning. The MUSIC of CHRISTMAS is powerful because the MESSAGE of Christmas is powerful.

But we also want to look at the songs sung by those who were the first to hear of the Savior’s birth. The good news touched their lives and caused them to burst into song. God graciously provides these songs for us in the gospels.

The first of these songs is the song that Elizabeth sang when her cousin Mary arrived with the good news that she was carrying a special child conceived by the Holy Spirit. Actually, Elizabeth’s song is really Elizabeth’s SHOUT. Luke tells us that she exclaimed her praise at the top of her lungs. Let’s learn about her shout of praise.

That MESSAGE begins in Luke’s Gospel not with the story of JESUS, but with the story of JOHN the Baptist and his parents Zacharias and Elizabeth.

Luke 1:5–8 "In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. " "Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly. " "But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren; and they were both well along in years. " "Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God,"

Luke 1:35–45 "The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. " "Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. " "For nothing is impossible with God.” " "“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her. " "At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, " "where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. " "When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. " "In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! " "But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? " "As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. " "Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!”"

When Mary arrived, Elizabeth burst into joy! I think that’s a good thing for all of us to do when we hear about Jesus!

Luke 1:42 could be literally translated “With a great SHOUT, she exclaimed....”

What was the source of her praise? Why was Elizabeth so joyful that this dignified elderly woman would loose her composure and praise God like this?

FIRST - Elizabeth Rejoiced Because God Did Something Impossible In Her Life Luke 1:35-37

She was BARREN Luke 1:7 "But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren; and they were both well along in years." Zacharias and Elizabeth had long been a testimony of loving God and faithfully serving him, even though they had never been blessed with a child. This was the greatest disappointment in their life, but they continued to love God through it all. They had long ago given up hope that they would have a child.

I recently read about a the Oldest known pregnancy today. A 70 year old woman from India named Rajo Devi gave birth to a healthy child in 2008. Another 68 year old woman gave birth to twins in 2006. But these, and other geriatric pregnancies were the result of fertility drugs or In Vitro Fertilization. Such medical advances were not known in Elizabeth’s day and I can assure you that in her time, 70 year old women did not give birth!

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