The stage is set and the signal given over to the curtain attendant, the long awaited Messiah is about to be unveiled to the world, what a glorious day, but the earth does not shake and the sky’s do not rain fire, and no loud voice shouting from over the clouds somewhere, no not even any chariots of fire, just a simple conversation between a young woman and a angel.
We have all heard the story many times, then 250 events would follow this conversation but in today’s scripture one stands alone. A bond seemly between two strangers and it started with Mary’s visit with her cousin Elizabeth, and the bible says Elizabeth already knows she is with a child and that, that child is the promised Messiah. This in and of itself has kept all the super preachers busy for year’s but is it important? That is what we will explore today. The writer of Luke says from that very first meeting, the two new each other even in the womb, according to the Gospel of Luke, the tiny baby inside Elizabeth’s womb began to thrash about, seemingly like a dance of joy.
After this encounter very little is heard from Elizabeth’s child and Mary’s child is brought into this world in a low profile, seeming silently, yes seeming silently, we make a big deal now, but there was no fanfare then, just scandal. The Bible does not give us much about the birth of Elizabeth’s child who would be named John but we know that he was born somewhere in the Herodian Kingdom around 4 B.C. The Gospels pick up his story again when he is about 30 wondering about the countryside dubbed a super preacher not unlike the one’s we have today.
Mark 1:4-11New Living Translation (NLT)
4 This messenger was John the Baptist. He was in the wilderness and preached that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven. 5 All of Judea, including all the people of Jerusalem, went out to see and hear John. And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. 6 His clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 John announced: “Someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to stoop down like a slave and untie the straps of his sandals. 8 I baptize you with[a] water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!” The Baptism and Temptation of Jesus 9 One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. 10 As Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Holy Spirit descending on him[b] like a dove. 11 And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”
A so they officially meet again, outside the womb, on a simple country side near a river leading into a dead sea, yet the world is about to be set on a different course, the rules of the day are about to get challenged in a big way, these two guys are about to get into some people’s face, what’s this thing between these two cousins? What say the congregation?
The message should be clear, even looking to either side of you today, it is by design of creation itself that we cannot do this alone, Jesus had John his Tiny Dancer from the start, and we have each other as it was always intended. As Sir Elton John thanks his “Tiny Dancer”, I encourage you to turn to the person beside you and thank your Tiny Dancer, for helping you along this journey in the construction of a Kingdom that is surely coming.