|Elizabeth encourages Mary and demonstrates the crucial role those who are more mature in years, and who have faithfully navigated life’s circumstances, can play to help the continuation of Christian witness to future generations. It is less about passing on a baton than in demonstrating a reality, one that is trustworthy and tested over time.
The source of Christianity’s strength and durability lies in the willingness and ability of Jesus’ followers to retain confidence and trust in its redemptive message. As I have lived my life, I have wondered at the inability of so many to stay the course.
It seems that the simple truth of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, and perhaps the even simpler one of maintaining confidence in the gospel narrative, becomes increasingly difficult to sustain as year gives way to year.
It is wonderful that in spite of her disappointments, Elizabeth is able to receive God’s word and recognise God’s work. We need those who have proven God’s faithfulness over the years, carry wounds from that walk, yet retain a testimony of confidence in the truth of God to act as witnesses to those following in their footsteps.
I had the great privilege of meeting Malcolm Muggeridge and Francis Schaeffer, both much older than me, yet both in their different ways clear communicators of the gospel message. I was able to see that the Way of Jesus extended to the very end of life; that Christian service was never something one retired from.
The abandonment of the poor and the marginalised, and the excusing of those with wealth and power from social responsibility, are agendas we must challenge by demonstrating that life is not measured by financial success and personal security.
It is measured by the extent to which God’s Good News message is incarnate, that is, fleshed out, throughout the earth, starting with my own witness and honesty around my fears and failures.
(Dr Micha Jazz)
With many peaceful blessings