What might you have done if you were Mary and just received the news that you were going to give birth to God’s Son? Who would you have wanted to tell about what had happened? Mary went to see the one person she knew would believe it - her older cousin Elizabeth. Read it for yourself by clicking on this link: Luke 1:39-56. (If you missed my earlier post about Zachariah & Elizabeth, click here.)
This was no small trip for Mary. Elizabeth lived in a “small town in the hill country of Judea.” Although no one can say for certain which town she lived in, that region was about 90 miles south of Mary’s home in Nazareth. She probably traveled with other people who were going that direction, possibly walking much or all of the way.
On the day Mary knocked on Elizabeth’s door, the two pregnant women shared news that no one else in the world would understand. Even Elizabeth’s unborn child recognized the excitement of that moment and leaped in her womb.
Mary burst into song with joy as she sang what has become known as The Magnificat – Mary’s song of praise. Read it for yourself at Luke 1:46-55. You can choose more than one translation to read if you like. Mary’s song proclaims how God exalts the lowly and humbles the proud and haughty.
Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three months. Simple math tells us she may have stayed until John was born, since we know Gabriel told Mary that Elizabeth was in her sixth month of pregnancy. Mary would have been a big help to her aged cousin during her last three months of pregnancy, and staying with her in a distant place gave her a temporary escape from the public eye as Baby Jesus grew inside her.
For younger children The First Christmas, by Janice D. Green, illustrated by Violet Vandor.