In our passage today Mary goes to visit her relative Elizabeth. Elizabeth is much older and is yet also with child. The angel Gabriel had told Mary of this and maybe she took it as a hint to go see Elizabeth. But maybe Mary’s head was swimming with the angels’ visit and time away seemed like a good idea. Mary finds herself in an uncomfortable place – a young, unwed, pregnant teenager. But as is always the case when one listens to God, He guides Mary to just where she needs to be so that she can hear just the words that she needs to hear.
In Elizabeth, Mary is seeking an older, wiser woman who is also amazingly pregnant. After years and years of waiting and shame, Elizabeth is now with child. As a family member, Mary surely knew of Elizabeth’s struggles to have a child. So Mary would know how amazing Elizabeth’s preganacy was as well. Once Mary arrives, God wastes no time in showing the connection between these two babies – John and Jesus – and in prompting Elizabeth to pour out her Spirit-given words of blessing upon both Mary and the baby she carries.
Can you see yourself in this story? Are you like Mary – inexperienced, unsure, needing the presence of one who may have some wisdom to share? Or are you like Elizabeth – one who has some experience and knowledge and is willing to pour into the life of another? Mary and Elizabeth give us a great example of Christian fellowship and support. Their witness in trusing in the voice of God, whether through an angel or the Holy Spirit, is also one we should follow. May we be willing to seek another when led to, to offer of ourselves when God presents an opportunity, and to trust that God will be present to guide and lead the encounter.
Scripture reference: Luke 1: 39-45