Luke 1:39-43 reads, “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 favored, 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 what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!'”
Elizabeth must have been a welcomed sight for Mary. Someone who understood. Someone who did not have doubt in their eyes. Someone who approved of her. I can almost feel the release in Mary’s body and mind as Elizabeth shouts out this welcome to her and the approval she extended to Mary in her pregnancy.
I do not know with certainty who accepted Mary in her community and family and who did not. The Bible does not go into detail because it wasn’t important to God. He protected and provided coverage for Mary. He didn’t need the approval of those around her. She was overshadowed by Him. The opinion of others was irrelevant to the Creator of the Universe coming to earth in human form. I can imagine the glares from other women though and the looks of disgust from men. The doubt in her parent’s eyes probably tore at her soul; and yet, she remained consistent in her faith.
I do smile at her visit to Elizabeth. The angel had told her about Elizabeth, her relative becoming pregnant in her old age. Maybe Mary needed a boost; a shot of proof; reassurance; a spiritual lift. Elizabeth’s recognition of Mary’s pregnancy and the movement of John must have made Mary smile.
Where are we in all this? How often are we a support to people who are moving for God? How often do we shake our heads in disbelief at the prospects of someone’s desire to please God because we doubt his or her abilities to do it?
We need to be Elizabeth’s in God’s Kingdom – motivators, encouragers, and believers. I often consider where I would be if I were Mary’s neighbor or maybe Joseph’s childhood buddy. Would I have supported them or turned my head? Would I have included Joseph in my circle of friends or criticized him for being a honorless man?
Today, take time to stimulate spiritually and enhearten others who are doing God’s work. Maybe she runs the local soup kitchen. Maybe he is the children’s choir director. Maybe it is your minister or a missionary or a Bible study leader. Connect with the people in your life who are striving to carry God’s word to others.
Be an Elizabeth to someone you know today.