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November-December 2020 - Visitation

November 1, 2020 by Kathryn Kimball
Artist: John Meng-Frecker (USA, Contemporary)
The first chapter of Luke tells the amazing story of Elizabeth, who, once unable to conceive, was expecting a child. Luke 1:39-45 describes Mary’s visit to Elizabeth and Elizabeth’s elation at being visited by the mother of the Lord.  Mary greeted her cousin Elizabeth, and — at the sound of Mary’s voice — Elizabeth felt her baby leap within her womb.

Though titled, “Visitation,” this painting could easily be called, “Gifts of Joy.” The golden sunlight is a visual representation of God’s love poured out through the Holy Spirit. God’s love surrounds the women and even floods the house and spills from the doorway. These were ordinary women leading ordinary lives until the Holy Spirit visited them. Elizabeth would give birth to John the Baptist and Mary to Jesus, God’s Son. Imagine the joy each woman must have felt!

We see God working through ordinary people in scripture time and time again. God can work through each of us as well. Perhaps the art on the cover invites us to respond to a nudge by the Holy Spirit to call a friend, visit a family member, or to serve in a charity. The Christmas season is filled with opportunities to share our gifts with others. What gifts can we give?  May we remember that the Holy Spirit continues to visit us in our day-to-day lives, inviting us to acts of mercy, compassion, and love. May the Holy Spirit visit and bless you this holy season.

Cover art courtesy of John Meng-Frecker.  © 2012 John Meng-Frecker. Prints of cover art are available from

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The Upper Room magazine's mission is to provide a practical way to listen to scripture, connect with believers around the world, and spend time with God each day.

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