“Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord would visit me?” When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what He said.”
Luke 1:42-45 NLT
1st Sunday- (2nd in Advent) “Just Believe!”
It is often the unplanned events in our lives that will serve as a litmus test for our beliefs. We are all prone to say that we trust God, but the reality of our exhortations will be tested when we must wonder how things could occur in our lives, over which we have very little, if any, control. The “belief test” affects all of us, and it is that testing that will inevitably prove the strength of our faith and character. When nebulous things occur to us, it’s only natural that we wonder, “how” or “why.” The young adolescent Mary, daughter of Ann and Joachim, was stunned by the appearance and the pronouncement of the angel. Mary was told she was pregnant, and the baby she would bear was the promised Messiah (Hebrew, Mashiach). Mary, it seems, even at a young age has a devout belief in God. I commend Mary for asking an honest question: “But how can this happen. I am a virgin? (Luke 1:14, NLT). Mary was a very young woman living in a home and community with devout believers. She could not imagine anything like this could happen to her. The angel told Mary that her shaken world was part of God’s divine order, and that the Holy Spirit would overshadow her. Mary would carry the Messiah in her body! Mary’s confidence was enlarged immediately. This is evident by her response: “I am the Lord’s servant...” A further confirmation of God’s divine plan came when Mary visited her older cousin Elizabeth. She told Mary, “You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what He said.” The 81-mile trek Mary made to visit Elizabeth in Hebron was further proof of her faith!