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, “Most 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.” And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, he has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever.” Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
When my Wife was pregnant with our first Son, it wasn’t until she was three or four months along in her pregnancy that she began to “show”; meaning, that other people could see that she was pregnant. At the time, she was working full-time and really wanted to wait as long as possible to announce her upcoming maternity leave at work. Her pregnancy with our second Son was quite a different matter in terms of “showing”. My Wife was now a full-time Mother at home and our second Son’s growth in her womb was much more noticeable, much more sooner. What I’m always Amazed by when Mary goes to stay with Elizabeth and Zechariah, is how her Cousin, Elizabeth, already knew that Mary was pregnant with God just my hearing Her voice and feeling her Son, John the Baptist, leap in her womb at that very same moment. Mary, who had made “haste” to get out of Nazareth as soon as She could, would not have been “showing” yet – especially given that She was roughly 13-14-years-old and at most 3-4 weeks pregnant. But Elizabeth didn’t even have to see Mary to “know” that She was carrying the Messiah. In an instant, Elizabeth became filled with the Holy Spirit and “knew” which made her cry-out Blessings to Mary. Mary had not texted Elizabeth prior; nor had She called Elizabeth on Her cell phone or posted something on Her story on Her social media accounts. No; Mary had travelled almost 2 weeks to get to Elizabeth without Her Family even knowing that She would be arriving to stay with them for a while. Because Elizabeth and Zechariah were Devout Believers themselves, God chose them to be critical members in the greatest Story ever told; the Bible. Mary doesn’t say a whole lot in the Bible, but how She responds to Elizabeth’s proclamation is an Eternal Gift to us all. Mary replies to Elizabeth by proclaiming God’s Infinite Greatness; thus, allowing Her Soul to rejoice and be joyful even in the face of this pregnancy; a pregnancy that goes against every worldly tradition that the Jewish people hold so tightly to in the face of their Roman persecution. Mary and Joseph would obediently go on to raise Jesus fully-knowing that He would be brutally tortured and murdered one day. They would know first-hand the most awful suffering that this world could ever give to a Parent – watching their own Child die for all of our sins; including Mary having a front-row seat to His crucifixion and death at Calvary. But they always knew that it had to be this way and that He would rise again. In life, we often don’t know what’s going to happen to us, our Families, and the world around us. We are often bullied to be scared and afraid of many things and situations in this world. But there are a few things that we do know, too. Jesus did rise again, is seated at the right hand of God Almighty, and nothing this world can offer us will ever take away the Eternal Resting Place awaiting anyone who Believes in Him. Because She was Devout and proclaimed God’s Greatness, God chose a “lowly-servant” (Her words, not mine) to birth and raise His Son. So, as Citizens of Heaven already (Philippians 3:20), let’s proclaim God’s Promise out loud and rest in the fact that we’re simply on a Faith Journey here in this life where our Faith Passports will take us all Home one day. Like Mary, our plain Faith in and obedience to God are the only passport stamps that we’ll ever need prior to our flights Home.