“Blessed are you among women and blessed is he fruit of your womb. And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” Luke 1:42-45
What encouraging words spoken by Elizabeth to Mary gave to Mary as her life had been turned completely upside down. Mary had it all planned out. She was betrothed to Joseph. She was making plans for her wedding day. Her family was excited about this new union. But then an angel came, telling her she had found favor with God and she would bear a son conceived by the Holy Spirit. He would be the Son of the Most High and His name would be Jesus. It was a miracle.
The angel also told Mary that Elizabeth who was well advanced in years was also going to have a baby. She was six months along. It was a miracle.
This good news completely changed Elizabeth and Marys’ lives. For the first five months of Elizabeth’s pregnancy she remained hidden. Mary had support from Joseph after he had been visited by an angel but we can only imagine that the town and maybe her family didn’t believe her. I am sure they were both lonely until God brought them together.
Mary went to Elizabeth and stayed with her for three months. As Mary came Elizabeth greeted her with the scripture quoted above. What an encouragement to Mary.
Two women. Carrying babies that would change people’s lives. Babies that were miracles. Babies that would work together: one paving the way, the other saving the world. Because of this support Mary’s heart was filled with joy and she praises God with a song Luke 1:46-55.
We all go through difficult times in our lives. We face joys, challenges and hardships. Like Mary and Elizabeth, we need support and encouragement. We are living in a world that is getting more and more disconnected. People are becoming more isolated and individualistic for a variety of reasons. We see the affects this is having on our families and our world. As people continue to lose hope.
When Love Our Community had summer meals last summer. We did it to provide meals to families in need but what we found is that people also came because they were lonely. They had no one to talk too.
Who is God asking you to support and encourage this Christmas season? Could you be that “Elizabeth” that God is asking you to support a “Mary” that is going through a challenging time? Take time to ask people how they are doing. Take time to listen. When we support and encourage people it brings them a new sense of joy and encouragement knowing that someone cares. It gives them hope.
It also may open a door for you to share about the one who came to save the world. His name is Jesus.