Consider last week’s post and what Mary’s thoughts must have been. Her barren cousin is to have a baby AND she was to birth the Messiah. Miracles all around! Though the promise is secure; there is some waiting time.
Mary has a promised hope of conceiving the Messiah. She has time on her hands and goes to visit her cousin and share what she has received. Mary visits Elizabeth but I think her arrival is different than her probable expectation. Scripture records Mary's post-vision encounter like this...
Elizabeth’s Prophecy to Mary: Luke 1:35-49, The Passion Translation (Emphasis added)
Afterward, Mary arose and hurried off to the hill country of Judea, to the village where Zechariah and Elizabeth lived. Arriving at their home, Mary entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. At the moment she heard Mary’s voice, the baby within Elizabeth’s womb jumped and kicked. And suddenly, Elizabeth was filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit! With a loud voice she prophesied with power:
“Mary! You are a woman given the highest favor and privilege above all others. For your child is destined to bring God great delight.
How did I deserve such a remarkable honor to have the mother of my Lord come and visit me? The moment you came in the door and greeted me, my baby danced inside me with ecstatic joy!
Great favor is upon you, for you have believed every word spoken to you from the Lord.”
Think of the thoughts Mary must be having. She thinks she is going to share the news with Mary but Elizabeth confirms truth with a Holy Spirit-induced prophecy! Mary’s hope from last week’s moment with the Messenger seems to be getting confirmation. (Check out the next scripture and read Mary’s Holy Spirit-induced prophetic song!)
So, a recap. Mary receives a vision; Elizabeth (in the common unity of the Holy Spirit) confirms the truth of the vision; and Mary sings a song of prophesy, too! There is joy and times are good as the promise is accepted. The praise goes forth; however, we know the troubles to come. What will next week bring? We have shared expectant hope & jubilant joy from scripture but the Christmas story symbolism in Advent offers so much more!
Hope is what makes Jesus-followers different; however, it is not hope without trouble! It is a hope of confirmation and of a joyful praise despite the troubles one faces.
Jesus-style hope is hope within the troubles of life!
We pray for your focus despite the challenges of the coming week!