, , , , , , , , , ,

When Mary accepted the task given her by God and realized she was indeed pregnant, she hastily decided to make a trip to see her cousin Elizabeth.  She heard, as crazy as it sounded and improbable as it was, that Elizabeth herself was expecting a child!  Maybe part of the reason for her trip was to see if that impossible news was actually true.   If it was true, maybe that would help her accept that what was happening inside of her wasn’t just a dream or her imagination.  She had to also be thinking that getting away for a little while was a good idea.  It would give her time to figure out how she was going to break the news to Joseph.  Perhaps she and Elizabeth had a close relationship, so she felt comfortable choosing that home for her get away.

No sooner had she walked into the house but Elizabeth stood to her feet, her face glowing with surprise and radiant joy.  “Mary!”  she exclaimed with a wide smile as she practically ran toward her with open arms and grabbed her up in a snug, warm embrace.  “I’m so glad you’ve come.  You are blessed, Mary, above all women!  At this very moment, when you walked in, my baby kicked inside of me as if to announce the presence of the Savior.  Bless you, sweet Mary!  You will bring our Messiah to us.”

That happy greeting must have been comforting to Mary as a warm blanket that had been left in the sun and then wrapped around her chilly shoulders.  Not only Elizabeth’s words but the sight of her protruding belly gave Mary such relief and bolstered her faith.  It lifted her spirits so much that she responded by praising God.  It was true what she had heard!  It must be true what the angel said to her, too!

Elizabeth was an encouraging, loving arm around her affirming her and letting her know everything was going to be okay.  She could relate to miracles and hearing from an angel, she could relate to a surprise pregnancy, she could relate to the reality that they believed in a powerful and mysterious God who had some pretty incredible plans.  She could relate to being chosen by God to receive a special blessing.  She helped Mary feel less alone at a crucial time in her life.

I’ve had several Elizabeths in my life, have you?  For me they were women who had more experience, had walked longer with Jesus, and could walk up beside me and help me know it was going to be okay.  I’ve had some loving godly women hold me when I was hurting and whisper in my ear “You’re right where you’re supposed to be.  Hang in there.”  I’ve had one give me loving instruction and a gentle reprimand when I wasn’t really behaving in the most loving way.  Many have lent a listening ear and even shed some tears with me.  Some have been able to relate to something I was learning and could help me through.  Lots have laughed and celebrated with me over the awesome things God does.  I hope I am an Elizabeth to some.  Who’s been one for you?

Mary didn’t waste a minute. She got up and traveled to a town in Judah in the hill country, straight to Zachariah’s house, and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby in her womb leaped.  She was filled with the Holy Spirit, and sang out exuberantly,

You’re so blessed among women,
and the babe in your womb, also blessed!
And why am I so blessed that
the mother of my Lord visits me?
The moment the sound of your
greeting entered my ears,
The babe in my womb
skipped like a lamb for sheer joy.
Blessed woman, who believed what God said,
believed every word would come true!

46-55And Mary said,

I’m bursting with God-news;
I’m dancing the song of my Savior God.
God took one good look at me, and look what happened—
I’m the most fortunate woman on earth!  Luke 1:39-46  The Message