This is a series of interviews from those who were present on Earth when Jesus was born. These individuals played a part, whether large or small, in the very first Christmas, which is when Heaven came down to Earth.
These characters tell us a little about themselves and their thoughts, feelings, impressions, and experiences on that day long ago. But it gets better, as each one of them also tells us something that we can apply in our lives today to reach out to the lost with the truth of salvation—not just at Christmas‚ but all year round.
I hope that this little peek into the past will be a blessing and inspiration to you this Christmas as you do your part to shine your light to celebrate His birth!
(See Luke 1:5-25, 39-45, 56-66.)
(Question: ) Tell us something about the experience of being around at the time of Jesus’ birth.
(Elizabeth:) Mary and I were two very excited women! We were both with child, and both of our conceptions had been miraculous!
I told Mary, “Cousin, I glorify God that you’re with child! You look like an angel!” As soon as I saw Mary that day, she took my breath away; her face was glowing!
“The angel Gabriel told me that that would happen,” Mary explained to me. “He told me not to worry about the glow on my face. He said that it would be God’s sign to everyone that my child is truly a gift from God. The neighbors are all talking about me. Some are wondering if I’m well, and others are worried that I’ve had some kind of a spell put on me. Everybody stares at me‚ and I’m not even showing yet!”
I encouraged Mary that she was in good company, as I was getting the same sort of stares. People were staring at me for a different reason—not because I was young and unmarried and with child, but because I was pregnant at such an old age. Oh, there was happiness that I was having a baby, but the tongues were wagging nonetheless! Mary said that the angel Gabriel had told her to expect criticism even from her own household.
I explained about the exchange between Gabriel and Zacharias. I told her that Zacharias had been made speechless, but that he could write, and he had communicated to me that we were having a son and that his name would be John, and that he would prepare the way for the Lord. I asked Zacharias what it was like to talk to an angel‚ and he wrote that he and Gabriel simply talked like Mary and I were talking.
Mary told me, “Elizabeth, I had the same experience! At first I was frightened because I was awakened from a sound sleep, and when I opened my eyes‚ Gabriel was standing there. So yes, that shook me up. But right away he made me feel like there was nothing to be afraid of. He was so friendly and kind and made me feel at ease as we talked about God’s will.”
(Question: ) Was there any particular physical or spiritual blessing you gained, during your life on Earth, due to being around at the time of Jesus’ birth?
(Elizabeth: ) After this miraculous experience of getting pregnant and giving birth when I was well past being able to, I didn’t realize what a great anointing of faith for future radical things that would give me. After that experience, Zac and I were never the same. We both had plodded along for so long that we didn’t expect anything very drastic to happen in our lives. Zac was a dedicated priest, and he was really good at what he did. People loved him and respected him and knew that he had God’s anointing for his work, but you should have seen him explode under God’s new anointing!
I saw God’s Spirit move and cause Zac to be even more powerful in his words. He spoke directly to people’s hearts with the power of God, and prophesied over them, giving them God’s direction and counsel right on the spot. He never tired of it, even at his age! Sometimes I had to go find him and call him to come home to rest, because he just couldn’t stop preaching! It was awesome and wonderful!
(Question: ) Is there something that you would like tell us in this day and age?
(Elizabeth: ) Whatever age you are living in, whatever your age is, have faith for any new steps that the Lord will show you to take in reaching out to others. You can take heart from my birthing experience and John being a healthy and happy child and growing into a leader of others. My example might help strengthen your faith for anything new and radical and different that the Lord wants you to do.
I used to sit and wonder‚ “Where is God’s blessing of a child? It’ll never happen now—it can’t!” But God turned my life around in one day. He infused new faith into my spirit with one touch of His hand. He gave me a renewed reason to live and serve Him with all of my heart, with a new zeal and passion that practically took my neighbors by storm. Now I can encourage you to have the same renewed zeal for serving Him and others.
My next-door neighbors would say, “Elizabeth, slow down!” or “Where are you going now?” or “Who are all those people in your house?” The only thing that mattered to me was giving as much as I could to God and others. It was a supernatural awakening—or reawakening—of my faith that has never departed; in fact, it has only grown stronger and made me more determined to reach others with God’s love.
Even if you don’t have a lot of physical strength, you can have supernatural, outside-of-the-box faith in order to usher in amazing miracles. The Spirit will work with you if you’ll work with it. Jesus promised to send the Spirit which would always be with you to help when needed.
(Question:) Tell us something that will help us do that.
(Elizabeth:) If God could work through me in my older years and cause me to bear the best fruit of my life, He can and will work through you and help you to be more fruitful than you ever dreamed possible. If you ever fall short, don’t be afraid to ask for help, that’s what prayer is for. Have renewed faith to reach for the stars and to believe that anything is possible!