The Visitation of Mary

Blessed are you among women! (Luke 1:42)

Don’t you find it remarkable that God chose to bring about his work of redemption through two human babies and their mothers? Jesus was still in Mary’s womb, yet in his presence, Elizabeth and her own unborn son, John, were filled with the Holy Spirit. This scene gives us a glimpse of the immense love of God, who simply can’t wait to share his life with his people. What a fore­shadowing this is of the glory of the risen Christ, who longs to pour out his Spirit on all people!

Elizabeth’s humble response to the work of God must have brought great comfort to Mary. In Elizabeth, she finally found someone with whom she could share her joy and wonder. Who else at this time could understand the song well­ing up within Mary’s heart? Who else would believe her story of an angelic visitation and a miraculous conception? Rather than being jeal­ous of her younger relative’s exalted position, Elizabeth rejoiced with Mary and embraced her own sup­portive role.

While this meeting between Mary and Elizabeth is unique, there is something here that we can all experience. Each of us is capable of bearing Christ to others. Our eyes have been opened to the glory of this truth, and that’s why we rejoice and are humbled in the presence of so holy a vessel as a sister or brother in Christ. Even nonbelievers can move us to great reverence because they too are created in God’s image and have just as much potential to be filled with the Holy Spirit. If God has so highly honored human beings this way, how can we fail to show them equal honor?

God used Jesus, even when he was just a fetus in the womb, to pour out divine life. Everyone, no matter how young or old, no matter how strong or weak, has been cre­ated as a dwelling place for God. So let’s long for God’s presence even more—just as we try to treat every­one around us with the dignity they deserve.

“Jesus, as you opened Elizabeth’s eyes in the presence of Mary, so open my eyes to those who also bear Christ. Help me to honor the potential of each person to be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

Zephaniah 3:14-18 (Psalm); Isaiah 12:2-6