39In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
Dusty road. Hard ground. Worn down sandals scuffing across sharp tiny rocks.
Step by step.
With deep thoughts and a heavy heart, Mary makes haste to visit Elizabeth. Her visit from Gabriel replays over and over in her mind, “And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.”
Shortening her steps, she notices her body is different. She is tired from pregnancy. She repeats, “for nothing is impossible with God!”
Over and over in her head, repeating, “nothing is impossible with God!”
Drawing closer to the house of Zechariah, and still repeating, “nothing is impossible with God!”
She enters. “Hello, Elizabeth…”
Imagine with me for a moment. Imagine Elizabeth’s excitement and overwhelming response to Mary’s greeting. For her, it must have been like fireworks going off. The baby inside her leaped and she was filled with the Holy Spirit! In one instant all her doubts vanished! And hope was bursting forth in every color you could think of. The Messiah was coming into the world. She exclaimed, “blessed are you among women! And blessed is the fruit of your womb!” This is the moment everything clicks for Elizabeth. She is overwhelmed, humbled, shocked and filled with hope! She says,“why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
I wonder what those words feel like to Mary. In her mind she is just an ordinary girl and now, her cousin is calling her blessed. I believe this interaction with Elizabeth was the first time Mary honestly realized, this is really, really happening. In a way, this visit with Elizabeth was a sign of relief for Mary too. Elizabeth was pregnant, she was pregnant and this is only the beginning.
There had been a silence since the Angel’s visit.
Doubt has a tendency to creep in over time. If there had been any doubt, it was now gone! If there had been any loneliness, depression or second guessing, now there was none. This was not a dream. She was not crazy! For the first time, this was real to someone other than herself!
46And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
53he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
54He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
56And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.