pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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Mary

Reading: Luke 1: 46-55

Verse 46: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior”.

Shortly after Mary received the news that she will carry the Holy One in her womb, she has gone to see Elizabeth, her cousin.  The angel told Mary that Elizabeth was also with child.  So Mary goes to see this thing for herself – old and barren Elizabeth with child.  Mary also goes because perhaps she senses that Elizabeth is someone she can share her news with as well.  After all, Mary’s news is not exactly news that she could go tell all her friends about.  When Mary and Elizabeth greet each other, the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leaps at the sound of Mary’s voice and Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit.  Elizabeth knows that Mary has been blessed and she herself feels blessed at being in the presence of the unborn Lord.  She also recognizes Mary’s faith, saying, “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished”.

There is a deep understanding in these two women that God is at work in them and is about to accomplish the impossible in both of them.  It is from this place of understanding that Mary spontaneously offers her song.  It is a beautiful telling of both God’s deeds with and for Israel and of God’s work in her in particular.  Weaving these two together shows Mary’s understanding of how closely connected these two are – Israel and the birth of he child.  She begins by exclaiming, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior”.  Mary is joyful and exuberantly praises what God is doing in her.  Mary also recognizes the forever impact of what is happening, saying, “All generations will call me blessed”.  She is aware of what is happening and speaks with a wisdom and insight well beyond her years.  The Spirit is indeed at work in Mary.

The same Spirit desires to be at work in each of us.  The same God is capable of doing great and amazing things in and through us as well.  May we be as joyful and faithful as Mary when the Lord begins a good work in us!


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Trust

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