Scripture: Luke 1:25 Elizabeth said, “The Lord…has taken away my disgrace among the people.”
Observation: Being barren was a disgraceful lot in life for women of Elizabeth’s day. It still has a stigma for women even to this day. People, maybe even Zechariah himself, looked down upon Elizabeth for her inability to conceive children. But she still “walked upright” (v.6) regardless of the bitterness of being barren and the shame it piled on her. She did not abandon the God she might have been tempted to believe abandoned her. But God took away the “disgrace” of Elizabeth and enabled her to conceive a child who would “prepare the way for the Lord.” Not only would she give birth to a boy, that boy she birthed was the “birth” of Pre-Advent! She is excited and she should be. Mary feels some of the same joy for a similar reason. God “has been mindful of the humble state of his servant” (1:48). Two women, one barren and one obscure, have the shame taken away by the one and only God who could remove it! And this is the Gospel, thanks be to God. No more shame, no more disgrace, that was outside of the bounds of her control. I feel some of the same excitement as I reflect upon the shameful circumstances that have disgraced me and how God took it away.
Application: God is challenging me to be grateful and remember how he has removed my disgrace. Today, when I am tempted to feel the shame of my past or the disgrace of not measuring up in the present to the standards of myself or others, I will resist it by the power of the Spirit. I will not allow my mind to play the tricks on me that will lead me back to shameful disgrace.
Prayer: Lord, there were things outside of my control that disgraced me for too long. I felt the sting of shame that sent me into a downward spiral of insecurity, inferiority, and inadequacy. But then You came near and did for me what I could not do for myself- you took away my disgrace! Jesus Christ, you set this captive free! Amen