Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”
While Jesus’s birth is an Awesome Miracle that has been shared and celebrated throughout the ages, we often overlook His Parents, Mary and Joseph. While they may have been Blessed in Eternity for their Faithfulness, they didn’t win any major notoriety or privileges during their lives. In fact, they were most likely ridiculed, threatened, isolated, and left to their own devices by the world. Mary was around fourteen (14) years’ old when the Angel Gabriel offered Her God’s request. Joseph, a little older, but still young, was a carpenter in a small village. With both being devout Jews, they knew the potential consequences of their decisions to accept God’s plan and to raise Jesus as their own. They also knew what would happen to the Messiah eventually. While moments like the one described here with Zechariah and Elizabeth (who was pregnant with John the Baptist at the time) would have most likely filled Mary and/or Joseph with love and encouragement, these moments were the exception during their journeys. They were outcasts to many in the world, but they were everything to the King of Kings. They brought Jesus to be born in Bethlehem, moved to Egypt to keep Him safe, and then brought Him back to Nazareth to be raised. They brought Him to Jerusalem for the Passover and many other Jewish Festivals. But, more than that, they loved Him as if He was their own. And, He is theirs’ and He is ours’, too. We have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:18), because of what Jesus did for Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, Zechariah, John the Baptist, and all of us on the Cross. God doesn’t ask us for perfection in return; He only asks that we are Faithful. Like Mary and Joseph, Elizabeth and Zechariah, John the Baptist, the Apostles, and so many others, we just need to try our best in Him each and every day and leave the consequences to Jesus. As “citizens of Heaven” (Philippians 3:20) who are “hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3), let us always be quick to rest in Him the way that He rests in us. O come, O come Emmanuel!