Irvin Wasswa, Tylertown Campus Pastor, LHBC
39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
Imagine Mary as a fourteen year old teenager, planning the wedding of her dreams, hears news which changes your life forever. Her life is planned out in her mind, only to have an angel of the Lord show up to her saying that she was going to be with child as a virgin! She was going to bear the Son of the Living God. Imagine what is going through her mind and her heart. She chose submission to the Lord’s plan, but you can only imagine the wrestling and doubting that took place within her soul at that moment. In the midst of the episode, the angel of the Lord reminds Mary of her cousin Elizabeth; a family member who was going to experience a miraculous birth of her own in birthing John the Baptist. Mary then chooses to go down to Elizabeth’s home and it was there she was affirmed that indeed she was going to bear the Savior of the world.
In the midst of Mary’s curiosity, anxiousness, and fear of the unknown, God reminded her about her cousin Elizabeth, and with haste she went to fellowship with her. We don’t see anything at all about Mary’s parents in the scripture. For all we know she was all alone. Yet, she decided that she was not going to walk the season of life alone. She was going to walk it with family who knew what she was going through.
There is something that can be said about the value of community. There is something to be said about doing life together as Christians. I have heard it said before that Christianity and our walk with God is personal, but it isn’t private. It is difficult to stand for God when you make the decision to sit in isolation. It is hard to follow God when you are walking alone. We need each other. We need the body of Christ.
We see a couple of truths in this we can apply to our lives:
- Mary Arose and Went:
-In verse 39 it says that Mary, after hearing from the angel of the Lord, arose herself and went to Elizabeth. The angel reminded her of Elizabeth and so Mary herself sought out that community herself and went. Child of God listen: Finding Community is ACTIVE not REACTIVE. You and I have to be active in seeking out fellowship and community. We have got to be active in investing in relationships. We cannot just sit on our laurels and wait for someone to reach out to us and when they don’t, we react in anger and discouragement.
- Elizabeth Gave Affirmation:
-The rest of the passage we see Elizabeth give some “Holy Affirmation” to Mary which was right on time. The bible says when two or three are gathered in God’s name, He is there (Matthew 18:20). The Spirit of God is there and is on the move. At this moment in time, Elizabeth gave a word of encouragement to Mary. As you walk in community with others, God gives you the opportunity to minister in this way to those within your community. God gives you the opportunity to share a word from Him to that brother/sister in need. You also have the chance to receive that encouraging word from others in community as you walk with them.
Walking in community is vital for the child of God. Even Mary, the one who was to bear the Christ-Child saw the importance of it in her life and stepped into it. May we choose to do the same. If you do not have a place to plug into, we have family groups here at Living Hope which meet all across the city. Check them out at livinghopeclarksville.org
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Dear Heavenly Father God, help me to see the importance and need for doing life together with others! May I look to seek Mary’s example and seek out community where we may lack. Amen!
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.