In the second sermon of our Advent series (Luke 1:46-56), Mary responded to the world’s most unexpected news. You read this angelic announcement in last week’s devotional (Luke 1:26-38). As a young virgin girl, she would become pregnant by the Holy Spirit and give birth to the promised Messiah—the Son of God. What did she do, even when she couldn’t fully wrap her mind around it all? She praised God.
In this week’s devotional, you’ll read about what Mary did after praising God. As you reflect on this text, prayerfully consider what you learn from Mary’s response.
Devotional: Elizabeth & John
In those days Mary set out and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judah where she entered Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped inside her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she exclaimed with a loud cry: “Blessed are you among women, and your child will be blessed! How could this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For you see, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped for joy inside me. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill what he has spoken to her!”
Luke 1:39-45 (CSB)
All Scripture references are taken from the Christian Standard Bible. http://read.csbible.com/
The Bible is a rich tapestry of grace in which every storyline is woven together to reveal God’s glorious plan of salvation. Jesus is the common thread throughout history, holding everything together in his sovereign goodness. We see traces of past stories in the lives of Mary and her cousin, Elizabeth. God chose to work in miraculous ways through women like Sarah who gave birth to Isaac—the promised child of a covenant people from Abraham—and Hannah who gave birth to Samuel—the anointer of Israel’s first kings, including David. Now, Elizabeth is pregnant in her old age with John—the prophetic forerunner of the Christ—and Mary carries Jesus—the long awaited Savior King.
After learning of her conception by the Holy Spirit, Mary immediately goes to see her cousin, Elizabeth. We can only imagine the mixture of emotions swirling in their hearts and minds; but good news always longs to be shared. In the midst of any uncertainty, Scripture is clear that Mary’s confidence and trust in God was evident. She believed God’s Word would be fulfilled.
Elizabeth praised God for Mary’s faithful example. The testimony of her young cousin resulted in her own worship. Even the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leapt with joy! What power! What discerning hearts! What a mighty God!
These two women were overflowing with joy and praise for God’s work in their lives. He was quite literally at work in and through them, accomplishing his redemptive purpose for all nations. They joined a long line of women (and men) who were part of the greatest story ever told. Now, their stories continue to be told. Their testimonies continue to inspire worship in others. Why? Because their stories are not about themselves; they point to our heavenly Father and His only begotten Son.
2,000 years later, how does your heart respond to the Good News of Jesus Christ? Do you remember when you first heard it? Take time this week to rejoice in God’s blessings and favor, especially for faith in the gospel of Jesus. Praise God for weaving you into the story of redemption. Someone brought the Good News of Jesus to you. Share the Good News of Jesus with your friends, family, neighbors, or coworkers this Christmas season!
Pray that God would give you a joyful heart of praise this Christmas season. Seek opportunities to encourage others, asking the Holy Spirit to stir their hearts to “leap” with the joy of Christ.