Mary visits Elizabeth (13-12-21)
Mary learnt from Gabriel that she was to become the mother of Jesus at the time when her elderly cousin, Elizabeth, was herself six months pregnant. Mary then visited Elizabeth and stayed with her for about three months.
Bible Reading: Luke 1:39-45
At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed:
"Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!
But why am I so favoured, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfil his promises to her!"
I wonder why Mary went to visit Elizabeth. It may have been quite straightforward, to help her elderly relative who was coming towards the end of her own pregnancy. It may have been the other way around, so that Mary would gain support and encouragement from someone else going through a similar experience. Or it may have been, like for many girls pregnant and unmarried, that her family was sending her away to avoid a scandal. Whatever the reason, God used it for the mutual blessing of both Elizabeth and Mary.
Carrying a burden alone is not easy, and many people today have recently spent time isolated from those who might offer them encouragement. Is there someone you know who might be struggling, and who might be blessed by a visit from you? Such a visit may not only bless them, it could well become a blessing for you also.
We thought before about the seed of life that God conceived in you when you put your faith in Jesus. In this same way he has brought about new life in all your Christian brothers and sisters. Spending time with other Christians is a way of learning from each other’s experiences and of encouraging each other as God's new life grows and develops within you. Let us make time to meet together with our Christian family so that we grow together in faith, in knowledge and in love.
When the baby in Elizabeth’s womb sensed the presence of the baby in Mary’s womb, he leapt for joy, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. The new life within each of us is the work of God’s Holy Spirit; sharing together with another Christian will cause the new life within you to leap for joy.
Since Pentecost, the Holy Spirit has been poured out as a gift for all Christians. God wants all of us to be filled with his Holy Spirit so that we can nurture the new life within us and go on to fulfil his plans and purposes for each of us.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for the new life within each of my Christian brothers and sisters.
Fill us afresh with your Holy Spirit, so that we might be a blessing to each other and so that you might be glorified.
Holy Spirit, living breath of God.