This past Saturday I attended my very first shower-a bridal shower for Danielle Houser and Duncan Bedlion. Carol Davis hosted it and she broke with tradition by inviting husbands to accompany their wives to the party. Each couple was to bring a small gift for both bride and groom and they were also to come prepared to share a testimony in which they recounted the story of how they met.
Now, to be completely honest, I must tell you I didn’t want to go to that shower. Don’t get me wrong. I love Danielle and Duncan and am looking forward to being a part of their wedding. And, I love the Davises. It’s always a joy to be in their home. It’s just that I could think of better ways to spend a Saturday afternoon. I didn’t look forward to three hours of eating mints and watercress sandwiches and playing those silly “shower games” that I’ve heard are usually found at those events. In my mind, this wasn’t a good idea at all. Let me put it this way: I doubted Carol’s wisdom in hosting this kind of an event.
But I went anyway and-guess what? I really enjoyed myself. I had a great time! The food was very good. In fact, I don’t remember seeing a single mint or watercress sandwich. And it was a lot of fun to watch Danielle and Duncan open their gifts and hear couples like the Davises and the Housers and the Kilgores-and especially Fred & Vicki Robinson share wisdom gleaned from years of marital bliss with these two soon to be newly-weds. It was interesting to hear how everyone met and to laugh together about the challenges and joys of marriage, So, I will now admit from the pulpit-on the record-that, “Carol, this was a good idea.” Inviting the men to this shower was indeed a wise decision!
Now-please don’t misunderstand. I’m not soliciting invitations to all future RBC showers, but if any of you ever have a couples event like Carol’s, please consider asking me and Sue. If our schedule allows it, and if Fred Robinson is coming, we’ll be there. I share this as an illustration of the fact that many times we men make the same mistake I did-in that we tend to underestimate the wisdom of women.
And I hate to admit it-but this is especially true when it comes to the church. The uncomfortable truth is, women have received a bad rap in theological circles in the past. They haven’t been given the honor that was their due. And of course we do owe them honor guys, because they have indeed played very important roles in the furthering of God’s kingdom. Remember, Jesus had both male and female followers. And, while 11 of the 12 men fled after Jesus’ arrest-His female disciples bravely remained steadfast. As a wise individual once commented, “Women were the last at the cross and the first at the tomb.”
But our unjustified criticism of women goes even further back than that. Some theologians have gone so far as to use Eve’s sin as way to blame women for the fall of mankind. She was the first to eat of the forbidden fruit. The Bible plainly says that Eve was the first to disobey God’s law, but if you read the entire discourse in Genesis chapter 3 you will see that Eve sinned only after engaging in a battle of wits with Satan himself, whereas all it took for Adam to sin was for Eve to say, “Here…eat this.”
The truth of the matter is that women have played very important pivotal roles in the church down through the ages. Imagine for a moment where the Kingdom of God would be without women like:
Lottie Moon, Mother Teresa, Corrie Ten Boom, Joni Erichson Tada, Fannie Crosby, Catherine Marshall, Elisabeth Elliot, and countless others? Or to bring it closer to home, where would Redland Baptist Church be without our female leaders and workers? I would venture to say that this church couldn’t run smoothly for even a day without the wise women of our church family. The fact is, we men owe a great deal to the females God blesses us with in life!
I’m reminded of a story about the CEO of a Fortune 500 company who pulled into a gas station. He went inside to pay, and when he came out he noticed his wife engaged in a deep discussion with the service station attendant. It turned out that she knew him. In fact, back in high school before she met the man who became her husband, she used to date this guy. Well, the CEO got in the car and the two drove away in silence. He was feeling pretty good about himself when he finally spoke and said: “Honey, I bet I know what you’re thinking. I bet you’re thinking you’re glad you married me…a Fortune 500 CEO and not him…a service station attendant.” “No,” she replied, “I was thinking that if I had married him, he’d be a Fortune 500 CEO and you’d be a service station attendant.”
Well, all humor aside there is indeed a great deal we can learn from the women whose lives are highlighted in the Scriptures, and that’s what I hope will happen this advent as we focus our study around the lives of three very important women-three very wise women. Of course, when I refer to a Christmas trio of wise individuals, the first people we all think of is the three wisemen because we’ve all heard of these guys. I mean, how can we not?! They are in every Nativity scene. Their images adorn greeting cards and ornaments. Countless songs, stories, and poems have been written about them. Tradition has even given them imaginary names: Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. All this attention is devoted to three wis men, in spite of the fact that the Bible says almost nothing about them. They are mentioned only briefly in the Gospel of Matthew. No names are given. We don’t even know for sure if there were three of them. We just guess this because the Bible tells us they brought three gifts.
As Christin Ditchfield points out in her new book, we may not know much about the wisemen, but we do know for a fact that, according to the Bible, there were three wise women; three Godly women who played pivotal roles in the unfolding of the Christmas story. I’m reminded of something Sandy Forrer gave me a couple of years ago. It says, “Three wise women would have: asked directions, arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole, brought practical gifts, and there would be Peace on Earth.” Well, it’s a bit prideful, especially the last part, but the fact is, the Biblical record of the Nativity story tells us a great deal about the contribution of three wise women.
I’m referring of course to Mary, Elizabeth, and Anna. Ditchfield writes,
“[They were] three very different women, in different ages and stages of life. One single, one married, one widowed. One just beginning to experience life, one coping with the challenges and changes of mid-life, and one coming to the close of the end of life. Too often we casually read over these familiar words of Scripture, barely noticing these women. Yet each one, in her own way, set a powerful example for us to follow today.”
And I would agree. So this year as we celebrate Advent here at Redland, I want us to do an in depth study of the lives of these three wise females.
Today we begin by looking at Elizabeth. Her story is found in Luke chapter 1. But before we read our text let me describe the setting. And so you can fully appreciate the day and age in which Elizabeth lived, as well as the wisdom she displayed in her life, the first thing I need to tell you to do is to close your eyes for a minute. Do this so you won’t be able to see all the beautiful decorations in our Sanctuary. And, while you’re at it try to block out memories of joyful Christmas music. I mean, don’t imagine the happy sights, sounds, and smells of Christmas. Think instead of things that make you feel sad and depressed, because that is what the world was like in the days before the dawning of that first Christmas morning.
Elizabeth and her two wise female peers lived during a gloomy period in the life of the nation of Israel. Remember, this nation had been chosen by God from among all the nations to be a priestly nation to the rest of the world. But at this point in history, due to its repeated sinful rejection of God’s loving law, this nation that was to lead all nations to God was being led by the pagan empire of Rome. And Rome was just the last of a long line of pagan nations that had ruled Israel. For the past six centuries the proud Jewish people had endured humiliation and servitude under the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Egyptians, and the Syrians.
Another thing that added to the sadness of this time was the king who was on the throne in Israel-a man named Herod. Now, he was the first Jewish king to sit on the throne since the fall of the Southern Kingdom some 580 years earlier. But Herod was not a real king of Israel. No, he was merely a puppet put in office by the authority of Rome. In fact he wasn’t even a Jew. Herod was an Idumean-a descendant of Esau-and as such he had no rightful claim to the throne. But more importantly, Herod was not a man of God. He was just the opposite; a very ungodly, degenerate, and wicked man. Herod should have been a spiritual leader, a model to the people, but he was everything but that. He was a cruel tyrant, who personally bathed his reign in blood, including the blood of many members of his own family. Herod also introduced Roman temples into the land and built idols to the Roman gods. Under his leadership Israel became a land filled with immorality-the spiritual life of the Jews lost its vitality. Their worship of God became little more than dry ceremony, rote ritual for most people.
In the midst of these dark and gloomy times, Luke begins His gospel by introducing us to a simple, faithful couple, an elderly priest named Zechariah and his wise wife, Elizabeth. Zechariah was a descendant of Aaron. That automatically made him a priest, and as a priest the law required him to marry a Hebrew, but Zechariah had done even more. He had married a daughter of Aaron, the daughter of another priest. I mean, it was as if a preacher’s son was marrying another preacher’s daughter two P.K’s, two “preacher’s kids” united I marital bliss!
When I was in High School I took Latin and on the first day in class when I introduced myself as a P. K., my Latin teacher, Mrs. Mohle, asked what that acronym meant. But when I explained, she said P.K. was not completely accurate. She said, “Marcus, you are a T.O.” When I asked her what that acronym meant, she said, “Theological Offspring.” Well, I’m sure the marriage of these two “theological offspring” was seen as a great blessing to their families. There must have been a great deal of rejoicing when Zechariah and Elizabeth wed. People must have thought, “Surely God will bless this union!”
One day, decades into their marriage when Zachariah was in Jerusalem fulfilling his yearly responsibilities as a priest, lots were drawn and he was chosen to burn incense on the altar of the Holy Place. Understand, this was not in the Holy of Holies itself. Only the high priest was permitted to enter this most sacred place and he did that only once each year on the Day of Atonement. No, this was just outside the curtain that surrounded the Holy of Holies but even this responsibility was a once in a lifetime privilege, so I’m sure Zachariah must have been thrilled! I’m sure he held his head high and felt very honored when it came time for him to do this. Try to picture it in your mind. The other priests ascended the steps leading to the Holy Place. When they got to the top they spread coals on the golden altar, arranged the incense, and departed, leaving Zechariah alone before God. Zechariah was to offer his prayers of intercession for the people of Israel and then put incense on the coals of the altar as a symbol of the prayers of Israel rising to God. While he was doing this, outside in the court of Israel a great multitude of people waited laying face down on the floor in prayer, praying with the priest who represented them in the Holy Place.
Well, they were hardly prepared for what was to take place that day and neither was Zechariah, because in the midst of his prayer an angel of God appeared and stood at one end of the altar right in front of the aging priest. Now, we must understand the stunning significance of this event. I mean, not only was it a shock for an angel to show up. It was also a shock for God to speak to His people. You see, there had been no word from God since those delivered by the prophet Malachi 400 years prior. Zechariah was understandably afraid and the Angel calmed him and said, “Your prayer has been heard!” Now, what had Zechariah been praying for? Well, I doubt that he was praying for children. Zechariah and Elisabeth had prayed for children for a long time but in their minds the physical possibility for that happening had long passed. So probably this godly man was praying for the Messiah to come. But God’s answer through the angel addressed both prayers. You see, the angel said that Elisabeth would bare Zechariah a son and that this little boy would not be just any child. Zechariah’s boy would be named “John” and he would fulfill the 400-year-old prophecy of Malachi 4:5-6 and the 800-year-old prophecy of Isaiah 40:1-5!
In Luke 1, verses 16 & 17 the angel referred to these prophecies when he said,
“Your son, John, will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah,.to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous-to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
In other words, Zechariah’s son would have the great privilege of preparing the way for the coming of the Messiah Himself!!! Well, this news overwhelmed Zechariah. I mean, the answer to his prayers was simply too much for him to believe so immediately his faith gave way to reason, and in verse 18 he said, “How can this happen? I mean, this is impossible. My wife and I are old…too old.”
And at this point Zechariah made the mistake that many of us do. He looked at God through his problems rather then looking at his problems through the power and love of God. Well, the angel rebuked his lack of faith in verses 19-20. In essence he said, “How dare you question me! I am not just any angel. I am the angel Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent by God Himself to speak to you and tell you this good news! Zach, you should be deliriously happy; you should be praising God, not questioning my word. To prove to you that this is God’s truth that I am proclaiming you will be mute for nine months until the day that John is born.”
I want to point out that this sudden muteness made things hard for Zechariah right away. You see, this once-in-a-lifetime privilege of praying in the Holy Place was to be followed by a benediction that he would be expected to offer. And he couldn’t speak! Well, while Zechariah was spending all this time in the Holy Place-much more time than normal-the people were lying prostrate on the floor, wondering what was keeping him. When he appeared before them obviously mute, they knew that something special had happened, so they watched as Zechariah beckoned back and forth to them in an improvised sign language, perhaps the first game of charades, silently attempting to pronounce the traditional blessing-all the while knowing that a far greater blessing was yet to come. Then, somehow, in spite of his verbal handicap, Zechariah completed his two weeks of priestly ministry and returned home.
Take your Bibles now and turn to Luke 1 and follow along as we read verses 24-25 and 39-45.
Luke 1:24 – After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion.
25 – “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days He has shown His favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”
Now, unbeknownst to Elizabeth, about six months after John’s conception, this same angel visited her cousin, Mary, and gave her the glorious news that she, a young virgin, had been chosen to give birth to the Messiah. We’ll talk more about this next week…but if you remember, Gabriel told Mary about Elizabeth and suggested she pay her cousin a visit. And as we read in verse 39, Mary took his advice. Continue to read with me.
Luke 1:39 – At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 – where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth.
41 – When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit
42 – In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!
43 – But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44 – As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
45 – Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!”
This is the Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
With all this in mind, I want to cite two reasons that I would say that Elizabeth should be thought of as a woman.
(1) First, I think she was wise in the way she responded to the inequities of life.
And make no mistake-Elizabeth experienced unfairness, because in spite of the Godly way she lived, in spite of her years of faithful observance of God’s laws, in spite of her prayers and devotion to God, decades past and Elizabeth and Zachariah remained childless. And we must understand that this would have been a horrible thing for a woman of that day to endure because as the Psalmist tells us, the Jews looked upon children as a gift from God and a “heritage from the Lord” (Psalm 127:3-5; 128:1-3), which of course every child is! Back then these people understood this. They valued the babies God gave them as if they were gold, such that they refused to follow the practices of their pagan neighbors-cultures that aborted or abandoned unwanted children.
When we read this and then consider the tens of millions of babies that have been aborted in our nation since Roe v. Wade, I am ashamed to see how far our culture has drifted from the standard God’s Word sets when it comes to the sanctity of human life.
Well, the people of Israel didn’t make this mistake. As I said, they treasured their children. They knew that one reason human life is uniquely precious is because of the unique impact humans can have on this world. They knew the amazing potential power of a human life. Dr. E. T. Sullivan once said, “The greatest forces in the world are not earthquakes and thunderbolts. The greatest forces in the world are babies.” And he’s right! Jews understood this fact that babies are a priceless blessing from God, but they took this mindset a step too far in that they came to believe that if someone didn’t have children it was because God was withholding His blessing. Childlessness was seen as the punishment of God. People thought infertility was God’s way of penalizing the couple for some reason. And the finger of blame was usually pointed at the wife. She was suspected of some hidden sin. So, for decades Elizabeth was barren in a culture in which a woman’s worth was measured by the number of children she produced-and she referred to this cultural mind set in verse 25 when she responded to her pregnancy by saying, “[God] has shown His favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”
But please understand. Prior to this miraculous pregnancy that occurred late in her life, humanly speaking, from a Jewish perspective, Elizabeth had every right to be hurt, angry, even bitter. And she wouldn’t have been the first woman in Scripture who reacted to heartbreak this way. Remember? In Genesis 30:1 Rachel turned on her husband, Jacob, and screamed, “Give me children, or I’ll die!'” 1st Samuel 1:7 tells us that Hannah responded to her barrenness by weeping inconsolably and refusing to eat. Distraught over devastating loss, Naomi told her friends, “Do not call me Naomi [which means ‘pleasant’]; call me Mara [which means ‘bitter’], for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. [Referring to the death of her husband and two sons she said] I went away full and the Lord has brought me back empty.” (Ruth 1:20-21) And do you remember how Job’s wife responded to the inequities of life? Her advice to her poor husband was to simply, “…curse God…and die.” (Job 2:9)
You know, one of Satan’s main battle tactics is to tempt us to take the advice of Job’s foolish wife and her bitter peers. The adversary holds up the struggles of life that we all endure as “proof” that God is not good, that God is not all-, that God does not care about us, that He is unfair, unjust, unkind, or a combination of all three. In fact, from the very beginning of time this has been his tactic-to try to convince us that God withholds good things from us-and so many times we buy into this and suffer the consequences. Ditchfield writes, “People who foolishly listen to the devil’s lies find themselves swept away by wave after wave of hopelessness and despair-until eventually they are drowned in his deceit.”
Well, I’m sure Satan tried this tactic on Elizabeth as year after year and then decade after decade passed and no children were born-but Elizabeth wisely refused to listen to the father of lies. Instead she disciplined herself to listen to the Holy Spirit of God…the Spirit of Truth. When life was unfair, instead of running from God, she ran to Him. She believed God’s Word. She trusted His heart. She embraced His timing. She clung to God’s promise through His prophet Jeremiah when He said, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. When you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will listen to you. You will seek me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13)
Her response to the inequities of life was to wisely cling to her trust in God. In spite of her disappointment, as verse six puts it, she was “…upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly.”
Well, let me ask you. How do you respond to the disappointments…inequities of life? If you’re like me, you struggle with this. When one bad thing after another happens, in spite of the fact that this is the way life always is in a fallen world, I’ll be honest and confess that if I’m not careful, I stop trusting God and start complaining…and I tend to try to justify my complaining by citing every bad thing that has happened to me, as if to say, “See, God is not fair.” Well, isn’t that dumb of me! Isn’t that foolish? Doesn’t that indicate a lack of wisdom? Sure it does! Because when I do this I’m not trusting in God’s character. I’m choosing not to believe His promise to work in all things for my good. When I do this-when we do this-we’re ignoring the fact that God is all wise and all-powerful and all knowing, and because of that, His timing is always perfect!
As I said, Elizabeth was too wise to make this mistake. She trusted God and obeyed His Word even when she didn’t understand His will. She chose to walk by faith and not by sight. And, her wisdom paid off because God did have a plan. She was to be the mother of not just any child, but of John the Baptist himself who, according to Jesus was the greatest prophet the world has ever known. (Luke 7:28) And, John would need to come into the world not according to Zachariah and Elizabeth’s desired timing, but when time itself was ripe for the birth of the Messiah. So God rewarded Elizabeth’s trust in Him. Like Sarah she became pregnant in her old age.
This miraculous event underscores an important principle in our faith. No matter how long it takes, God will accomplish His stated purposes. There may be periods of seeming inactivity like the 400 years of silence or the decades in Elizabeth’s life that passed without a child, but God is always at work and never in a hurry. He knows what He is doing, and we don’t! And when we are experiencing the inequities of life we need to remember that!
This reminds me of an anecdote I came across from the life of Phillip Brooks. One day he was pacing back and forth in his study and a church member saw this and asked, “What’s the matter pastor?” Brooks replied, “I guess it boils down to the fact that I’m in a hurry and God Almighty doesn’t seem to be.”
Well God doesn’t need to be in a hurry, because He always knows what to do and when to do it. And wise people understand this.
(2) A second thing that shows Elizabeth’s wisdom is the way she responded to the interruptions of life.
Remember, as verse 24 says Elizabeth had secluded herself for several months. She didn’t know about Mary’s news and didn’t expect a visitor because everyone in town had apparently honored her desire to be alone. But when Mary interrupted her seclusion unannounced, Elizabeth welcomed her and then, welcomed the nudge of the Spirit of God, Who inspired her to bless Mary in verses 42-45. In her response to these interruptions, Elizabeth wisely does three “first things.”
She becomes the first human being to utter a prophetic word in the New Testament era, the singer of the first Christian hymn and the first to refer to Jesus as, Lord. And if that weren’t enough “firsts” little John the Baptist gives a vigorous kick from the inside of Elizabeth’s womb his first silent prophecy in his life’s role as the fore-runner, announcing the coming of Christ, Who was already present in Mary’s womb.
Look at those verses again. In her impromptu hymn Elizabeth sang, “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!”
Well, from that moment on Elizabeth took on the role of a spiritual mother or mentor to Mary. Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three months-I believe at Elizabeth’s invitation. And I’m sure her wise words in the conversations they shared during those 12 weeks brought comfort and encouragement to a young teenaged girl who must have felt very much alone since I doubt Joseph or anyone else knew about her condition. Elizabeth wisely perceived that this “interruption” in her life was a Divine appointment and she responded by affirming Mary and confirming the Word of the Lord to her. If Mary had any doubts of fears, over those months Elizabeth dispelled them. She ministered to her and set the kind of example the apostle Paul later referred to when he admonished the older women of the church to, “…train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home and to be kind…” (Titus 2:4-5)
“Elizabeth was a perfect role model for Mary because she had a hearing heart. Over the years as she prayed for a child and listened to the Holy Spirit, she became a woman of wisdom and maturity and depth. Her life experience had caused her to lean hard on the everlasting arms and to learn from the Lover of her soul.”
Well, we can learn from Elizabeth’s example to make ourselves interruptible. We must be open to the people God’s Spirit brings into our sphere of influence. In his book, The Life You’ve Always Wanted, John Ortberg tells of people in the Russian church called poustinikki who would devote themselves to a life of prayer. They would withdraw to the desert (poustinia) and live in solitude, but to these Russian Christians solitude did not mean isolation. In fact, the Russian word for solitude means “being with everybody.” By custom, in these times of “solitude” the latch was always off their door as a sign of availability. Ortberg writes, “The poustinik’s priority at any time was his neighbor’s need which might stretch beyond prayer and counsel to physical labor as at harvest time.” Wise people follow this principal in life. In their work they are interruptible-they are ready to take on tasks that are not on their agenda. People come before their “to do” list. They learn to live their lives with the “latch off the door.” They make themselves available to talk or pray with troubled people, to help people, even if it is costly for them personally to do so.
One morning this past week, I watched a news story on TV that told of an American military unit serving in Falujah. Apparently one day in June while on a patrol, an IED exploded near their vehicle and the soldiers in the vehicle jumped out immediately and began running after the trigger men. As they ran down the street a mother stepped out of her door and yelled, “Help! baby sick! Help! Baby sick!” and, led by Navy Medic Chris Walsh, the soldiers stopped their pursuit and went to help. Here’s a picture of Chris. Chris and his comrades entered her home and found a 2 month old baby girl named Miram very sick with some sort of intestinal abnormality. They did what they could, and then over the next three months they returned over and over again, always at a different time so as to avoid attacks by insurgents in this dangerous city. They kept coming back, kept putting themselves in danger to help treat this little girl. September 4 while on a routine patrol, another IED went off and killed three members of the unit including Chris Walsh and two of the men who had been treating Miram. But the survivors continued her treatment and pressured their superiors to get her to the U.S. for surgery. Eventually enough red tape was cut to get her to Boston’s General Hospital and Dr. Raphael Pieretti performed an operation on little Miriam and she is doing great.
Recently Maureen Walsh, Chris’ mother, met baby Miriam. With tears coming down her face she said, “It made me feel like Chris was there. He wanted something like this. He wanted to make a difference in somebody’s life.” Chris and his companions were wise people because they believed the best investment we can make in life is helping other people…being interruptible….being available.
What about you Christian? Are you like Elizabeth in that you are sensitive to the leading of God’s Spirit as you hurry through life here in Montgomery County, Maryland? Are you available to stop what you are doing and help someone in Jesus’ name? Are you ready and willing to make an eternal difference in someone’s life?
If not-I want to challenge you to change so that you are. In this season of giving I want to encourage you to commit to give of yourself…to the needy people God brings into your realm of influence.
Let Us Pray
Forgive us when we pridefully, ignorantly, stop trusting You such that we respond to the inequities of life by complaining. Help us to learn from Elizabeth’s example and trust Your character even when we don’t understand Your will. Most of all Father, as we celebrate the indescribable gift of Your Son-inspire is to be like you by giving of our time and resources. Help us to welcome the interruptions of life….help us to see them as Your gracious invitation to join You in Your work. Guide us now to the decisions we need to make both private and public in order to be in the center of Your will.
I ask all this in Jesus’ name. Amen