“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby in her womb leaped. She was filled with the Holy Spirit, and sang out… ‘You’re so blessed among women, and the babe in your womb, also blessed!” —Luke 1:41-42 (MSG)
Elizabeth, descendant of Aaron, was righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments. After years of barrenness, she was suddenly pregnant with the forerunner of the Messiah. What an overwhelming surprise, and a lot to process. Thank God she had her young cousin, Mary!
The two had so much to talk about—angelic visitations, holy words to ponder, their miraculous pregnancies. Together, they likely shared their excitement and fears, anxieties and insecurities. They could pray with, encourage and strengthen one another. During Advent, as we wait for Jesus to return, do we need to wait alone? Is it possible that God could surround us with holy friendships—people with whom we share and reflect, watch and wait?
In least-reached regions of the world, followers of Jesus are often few and far between. Holy friendships in these settings are a precious gift. Jane, a teacher at the Afghan Refugee Academy (ARA) in South Asia, was born into a Muslim family. She began to follow Jesus in her teens and suffered mightily for her faith, but a Bible study fellowship helped her grow and flourish. Jane now participates in an ARA Bible study for staff and students, where she and some of the girls share together about how Jesus’ hope, joy and peace can help them navigate the concerns, anger and worry they experience as refugees and Christ-followers. This community of friends has provided vital encouragement for both students and teachers in a region of the world where it is difficult to be a follower of Jesus.
We all need people who will remind us that all things are possible with God, people who will encourage and strengthen us as we walk with Jesus. Reflect on some of the holy friendships you’ve experienced in your life. What made them meaningful? Consider ways God might use you to participate in holy friendships with followers of Jesus on the frontier.
We’d love to connect with you! Reach a member of Frontier Fellowship’s team at frontierfellowship.com/contact