This is the second message in the series for Christmas called “On the Way to Bethlehem.” Today we will look at the conversation that Mary and Elizabeth had when Mary went to see her sometime after Gabriel told her of the child she would have.
Evidently Mary was in a great hurry to see her relative Elizabeth because of what the angel said to her regarding Elizabeth being with child. Or, maybe it had a lot to do with what might be said there in Nazareth if Mary was to start showing in her pregnancy while being at home. Either way she packed up and went to a town in Judea to the house of Zechariah. What joy followed Mary as she went to Elizabeth’s. When Mary entered the home and greeted her, something great happened in Elizabeth that made her so excited. The baby whom Elizabeth was carrying heard the voice of Mary “leaped in her womb” the womb of Elizabeth! At that moment Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Being filled with the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth knew already what had happened to Mary and how she was so blessed to be the mother of the Son of God. Elizabeth’s proclamation about Mary's faithfulness to the revelation from God about her life and what will happen, came because she was full of joy and wanted to give praise to the Lord and tell Mary how thankful she was for coming to see her.
Can you imagine the greeting that they had! (I know as a man it is hard to think like a woman, especially a pregnant one!) There must have been some jumping around and squealing and laughing, just having a great old time. You know girl stuff!
Now that I am seriously in trouble let’s go on. The next wonderful verses are called Mary’s song or the “Magnificat.” The scholars say it is called that because it is the first word in the Latin translation of this passage. But this whole passage is just full of joy from the heart of Mary. Let’s read it again.
Look first at what it says, Mary says that her “spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” Deep inside Mary the joy was waiting to come out and here with Elizabeth it just comes. She declares that God was mindful of her to choose her to be the mother of the Son of God. How could that come to an humble servant girl? She sees the end results of this experience and declares that “all generations will call me blessed.”
Mary truly understands some things that are happening to her. She praises God for what He has done for her and declares that He is holy! But she also states that God’s mercy is given to those who fear God no matter when that might be.
Like many in the Bible she declares the greatness of His mighty deeds but on the other hand He scatters those who disobey because of their pride. She talks not only of His greatness but of the care He gives to those who need Him. She tells of His care for Israel and how God keeps the promises made to her forefathers including Abraham.
So what does all this all mean to you and me? We can learns some lessons from what Elizabeth and Mary stated to one another or just shared in praise to God.