What happens when girlfriends pause for a “Praise Break?”
I remember when one of my “besties” got accepted into medical school-praise break! I remember when my best friend, Dionne, recently celebrated 20 years as CEO of her Black-owned company-praise break! My friend Stephanie’s only two sons are now in college, so she has more alone time with her husband and more free time for herself-praise break!
I have enjoyed Selah moments to rejoice with those who rejoice. Every once in awhile a woman needs a girlfriend to encounter a praise break. This is exactly what transpired when Mary and Elizabeth connected and reflected over their current state. The angel of the Lord announced the pregnancy of both women. Both women were with child as they met in Elizabeth’s home. Both women experienced miraculous pregnancies and both women were favored by God. Praise was in order!
In a world plagued by pandemics and politics, gun violence and global warming, mental illness and mansplaining, injustice, immigration, and inequality; I need a sister or two in my life that can offer some relief from it all. I need a Mary who will come and check on me and an Elizabeth who will see and affirm me.
During this third week of Advent as we wait to rejoice over the birth of Christ, let us be mindful to check on our sisters. Let us celebrate (don’t hate) all the good things that are happening in their lives and pray with your sister if she wrestles with grief, isolation, or fear. Become a sister, mentor, friend, pastor, chaplain and help other women to be seen. Name the ways God is working in their life. As a matter of fact, if you need to hop on a quick call with Baptist Women in Ministry staff because you need a few moments with a sister, email email@example.com to coordinate a conversation. We support you!
Before coats came off or tea was served, M&E paused for a timely praise break as Elizabeth made the first proclamation that Jesus is Lord! “And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me?” Mary responds by celebrating what God has done, will do, and continues to do for generations to come (especially, for sisters like us).
Mary’s Song of Praise (Luke 1:46-56)
46 And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50 His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
56 And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
One can only imagine what those 3 months were like as Mary remained in the home of Elizabeth. Perhaps, plenty of laughs and tears and sharing of stories. I bet these women paused for several Praise Breaks!
This blog series made possible in part by a gift from Myers Park Baptist Church, Charlotte, NC.
If you or your congregation is also using Year W this liturgical year, we would love to hear from you. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Further resources and online conversation about using the Year W lectionary can also be found at Wilda Gafney’s website: https://www.wilgafney.com/womenslectionary/