Today, the Way of Love Advent calendar encourages us to read Luke, chapter 1 verse 45:
And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord
After reading and reflecting on this verse, we are encouraged to share our faith story with someone we have known for a while but may not know that part of our story. Setting out to purposely share my faith with someone who may know me in a different context or under other circumstances feels daunting. To me, this seems like an ambush. However, if you read the verse in context (Luke 1:39-45), you might begin to see a different picture of what it might mean to “share your faith.”
The words in v. 45 are Elizabeth’s words, not Mary’s. Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth upon receiving news of her own pregnancy from the Angel Gabriel. Mary, therefore, goes to celebrate their shared pregnancy with Elizabeth, her long-barren and significantly older cousin. In the spontaneity of the moment, they see together that God’s promises are fulfilled. Elizabeth winds up in the role of a traditional prophet, her own unborn child leaping with joy and confessing the child in Mary’s womb as “Lord.” Mary is so moved that she breaks into the song that we know as the Magnificat. This is not someone sharing their faith with another; this is someone celebrating a joyful moment with a friend and discovering faith already present.
Perhaps sharing our faith is not about asking if “they know Jesus in their heart,” or even telling them how much church has changed our lives. Instead, maybe sharing faith is celebrating with friends in their joy and grieving with them in the sorrow and listening for how God’s promises are being fulfilled in them, and finding faith there.