Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Christmas Story - Mary visits Elizabeth

Mary realized that her cousin Elizabeth being very old would have needed her help being pregnant herself. Mary traveled in haste to the hilly country of Judea to be with Elizabeth.

As soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s voice she knew that something very special had happened. The baby in her womb jumped for joy and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Elizabeth greeted Mary saying “ Most blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb. How is it that the mother of my Lord would come to visit me?” Elizabeth felt unworthy of such a great honor.

Mary was filled with joy over all that had happened and she answered Elizabeth by singing a song of praise to the Lord.

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for He has looked with favor on His lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed. The Almighty has done great things for me and holy is His name. He has mercy on those who fear Him in every generation.

He has shown the strength of His arm, He has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of Israel His servant for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise He made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever."

Mary stayed with her cousin Elizabeth for three months. Elizabeth gave birth to a fine baby boy. The baby boy was taken to be circumcised on the eighth day after birth. When the elders asked Elizabeth and Zachariah what name the child was to be given. Elizabeth said “John.” This confused them as the child would normally be named after the father or grandfather.

They then asked Zachariah who had not been able to speak since the angel had spoken to him and told him about the future birth of his son. Zachariah took a tablet and wrote the name ‘John’ on the tablet. At that moment he was healed and could speak again. He praised God for all the wonders He had done.

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