As a backdrop to the birth of Christ, there was a woman, His cousin, named Elizabeth. Finally her prayer has been answered.
After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. "The Lord has done this for me," she said. "In these days He has shown His favor and taken away my disgrace among the people." -- Luke 1:24-25
Unspeakable joy! The Lord blessed Elizabeth with a child in her old age. For many years she was unable to conceive, a heart-ache today, but an utter failure and disgrace in Elizabeth's time.
But Elizabeth hid herself for five months. Why? Was it the custom of the day? Was she afraid her joy would show before she could bear to speak of it? Before it was safe? What if she miscarried? Today, being pregnant, our assumption is there will be a healthy child born. No so in Elizabeth's day.
But he was, her baby, healthy, strong and many would rejoice in his birth, especially Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah. Baby John was an answer to prayer and to the prophesy, as soon she would discover when she met her cousin Mary. It was too wonderful to be true! But there it was.
Likewise is Christmas. God Himself leaving heaven to come and rescue us. Not because we are good and deserving. No, we are all on the "naughty list!" Jesus did not come because we were good little girls or boys, but because He is good and loved us.
Jesus is our unspeakable joy!
"Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord." -- Luke 1:13-15