Luke 1: 39 – 45
After Mary received word she was going to give birth to a child she was likely confused and terrified. Whom could she talk to about what she had heard, and about what was going to happen? It is likely that before Mary told her own mother, she went to find Elizabeth in the hope that she would both believe her and help her. The fact that Mary was willing to travel nine days across three mountain ranges to see Elizabeth speaks volumes about how she was feeling. She longed for someone who might believe her and who could help her make sense of what was happening. After nine days of difficult travel, Mary finally reached Elizabeth’s home and announced herself, “Elizabeth, it’s me, Mary!”
Elizabeth said, “Why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord” (Luke 1:43-45).
Elizabeth was the first person in all the gospels to call Jesus “Lord,” spoken before Jesus was even born. Imagine Mary’s feelings—it had been at least ten days since Gabriel appeared to Mary with his confusing announcement. She had spent the last nine days travelling with her secret, uncertain and afraid. Before she could try to explain, Elizabeth knew.
Mary needed someone who could help her gain perspective; someone who would listen to and believe in her; someone who would encourage her. She found all that and more in her kinswoman Elizabeth.
Who is your Mary?
Who is your Elizabeth?
Elizabeth was older than Mary, a mentor, a source of encouragement, wisdom, and perspective. We all need an Elizabeth in our lives. We also need to be an Elizabeth for someone else.
Who is your Elizabeth, the older person who serves to mentor for you? Who is your Mary, that younger person you’re encouraging and investing in?
(Adapted from The Journey, pp. 62-66, 69)