Reflections: The Visitation

Today’s Reading: Luke 1:39-56

Daily Lectionary: Joshua 7:1-26; Acts 10:34-48 

“For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.”
(Luke 1:44) 

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Pebble-sized preborn Jesus makes His way to visit His cousin, His forerunner, the one who will make His paths straight. At Mary’s arrival, the other bitty baby, John, hears her greeting. But certainly this was so much more than a simple ” Hello.” Certainly this greeting had all of the trappings of a teenage girl blathering out every last detail of the past few weeks as fast as she could: the angel Gabriel, Joseph’s initial and then secondary response, her simple reply in faith. Surely these are the words that John hears.

Baby John leaps for joy: a little baby leap with little baby legs, exuberantly kicking at the walls of his fleshy abode. At six months gestation, John is in the exact place that a person of his size should be, both physically and spiritually. It is there, in that place, that Jesus, His Savior comes to him. Imagine that: The salvific Word of God is so authoritative that it can produce faith in the heart of an unborn child, through the simple greeting of a woman who is merely recounting the events of the recent past. 

But it was in the recounting of these events that the proclamation of the Incarnation took place. God’s plan of salvation, taking form in tangible ways and being spoken of in real time and space. It is through this proclamation that John and his mother are brought to faith. And it is this faith, this objective faith in the Incarnation God for the salvation of mankind, that John is going to proclaim to the nations 30 years removed from that first Gospel encounter. 

With tender words, John is going to speak words of comfort to the people of Jerusalem, to you and me. Our warfare is ended. Our iniquity is pardoned. Every crooked place is now straight, every hill brought low, every valley brought level, every obstacle taken away. The Savior is coming, even as a speckle-sized dot floating down Mary’s fallopian tubes. That dot is God in the flesh. That dot is the Savior of the world. That dot is Jesus the Christ, and He has come that we might receive from His outstretched and crucified hands double for all our sins. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. 

Almighty God, You chose the virgin Mary to be the mother of Your Son and made known through her Your gracious regard for the poor and lowly and despised. Grant that we may receive Your Word in humility and faith, and so be made one with Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for the Visitation)

-Rev. Eli Lietzau is pastor of Wheat Ridge Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wheat Ridge, CO.

Audio Reflections speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Come on an adventure with author Eric Eichinger as he unpacks the saga of Jesus’ Hero Journey. You’ll see how aspects of this journey are seen in popular stories, and how God used Jesus to create the most action-packed one with a real Savior for all. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.