"Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
Today's Reading: Luke 1:39-45 (NIV)
We know from yesterday’s reading:
· Zechariah’s barren and aging wife, Elizabeth, is pregnant with a baby boy – a.k.a. John the Baptist.
· Elizabeth goes into seclusion for five months.
· When Elizabeth is six months into her pregnancy, the angel Gabriel tells Mary that she will conceive and give birth to Jesus - the Messiah, the Son of the Most High! We pick up the story in Luke 1:39-45 (NIV)
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 the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
What do you think was going through Mary’s mind? Apparently, she felt that going to her trusted family member’s house could be helpful - maybe reassuring that she hadn’t dreamed the whole thing. Perhaps hearing Elizabeth say, “What the angel said IS true!” would be the simple reassurance Mary needed for the nine-month journey ahead. Knowing that someone was “in this with her” would be such a relief… someone else who believed the promises of God.
Mary apparently showed up at Elizabeth’s house unannounced. But, as soon as Mary stepped into the house and gave a “howdy,” the baby in Elizabeth’s womb LEAPED! There’s not much space in a momma’s tummy for this kind of reaction, but little John the Baptist let his momma know that he was excited about something! Then she is filled with the Holy Spirit and proclaims a blessing over Mary, affirming what the angel had said: Mary is the mother of the Lord!
I’ve never had children, but I’ve heard parents’ excitement when that first kick or light “punch” inside momma happens. You’ve probably heard it or said it yourself: “We felt the baby move for the first time!” It’s a sure sign of life… a miracle alive in a secret place. And John the Baptist’s “leap of faith” surged through Elizabeth – ending in Mary being commended for believing God’s promises to her.
Do you believe God’s promises to you? Have you ever had an experience with a fellow believer that deepened your faith – maybe at a time when it was hard to believe that God really was at work? Someone who was “in it with you” that helped you remain steadfast in your faith in God? Maybe give them an “unannounced” call, visit, text, or email today. Who knows what kind of a leap of faith it might encourage them to take!