Dec. 11, 2012
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. With a loud voice, she blurted out, “God has blessed you above all women, and he has blessed the child you carry.” – Luke 1:41-42
What are blessings? We often think of money, having a home or material possessions. Sometimes we think of family and friends, security or health as blessings.
Twice in Elizabeth’s greeting, she calls Mary and the child she is carrying “blessed.” Mary’s blessings were not based on material possessions. Her blessedness came from being used in God’s plan. Because she was being used by God for God’s kingdom, Elizabeth proclaims her as “blessed.”
What is amazing is while Elizabeth sees Mary’s situation as a blessing, few others would. Would she still feel blessed as people whispered about her pregnancy out of wedlock? Would she feel blessed after trying to explain to Joseph her precarious situation? As she journeyed through Jesus’ life, would “blessed” be the first word to tumble off her lips as she described her life with the Messiah?
Rick often reminds me of how blessed we are. And he is right. In the last few weeks, three of our four parents have had significant changes in their health. Yet, just a couple days ago, Rick reiterated how blessed we are. Overwhelmed, yes, but also blessed. Often God’s blessings also include adversity. I am reminded again that God’s blessings are not about ease and comfort. God’s blessings allow us to be a part of the work of God’s kingdom. This is how Mary was blessed by God and how we can be blessed.
I think it was imperative for the first person Mary discussed her pregnancy with to completely support and encourage Mary. Elizabeth does this and more. Within a few days of discovering her pregnancy, she is lovingly blessed by her relative Elizabeth. What a relief this must have been for Mary. She has someone who will love and support and try to relate to her. What a blessing!
Lord God – Too often we focus on the anxieties of life rather than the blessings. Most often, they go hand-in-hand. When we face adversity, I pray that we will be able to trust you, Lord God, and allow you to take the situation and bring a blessing out of it. May we see the great opportunity we have to be a blessing when God uses us. Amen.