Mary and Elizabeth
A young girl was betrothed and ostracized for her “unfaithfulness” to her husband-to-be. News traveled quickly. People spoke about her behind closed doors and whispered so that she could hear them. They didn’t believe that Joseph should have let her live. They refused to give credit to her obvious lies. It simply could not be!
An older matron, well-beyond the years of bearing children, was blessed by God to be carrying her first child, and, no less, a son! God had revealed as much to her. Her son would eventually go before the Messiah to prepare the people and to announce His coming.
What was this she heard of Mary? Elizabeth had always known her relative to be a girl of character, one who loved God and followed His laws. Either something was very wrong, or Mary was telling the truth: she was carrying the Messiah.
Mary, needing a break from the stigmas that had been placed on her, hurried to Elizabeth’s house. Elizabeth was a wise woman from a priestly line, and Mary had often trusted her as a confidant. She knew Elizabeth would be of comfort and, perhaps, would have some answers.
When Mary arrived at Elizabeth’s home, any doubts that Elizabeth had concerning Mary’s soundness washed away when she felt the baby in her own womb leap up in recognition of the one whom he was to bear witness. The Holy Spirit flooded her very being as she prophesied to Mary words of encouragement, and Mary replied in confidence concerning the special task that she had been given. At that moment, Elizabeth and Mary, one older and feeling concerns about having a baby at such a ripe age and one younger and suffering condemnation from others, were united by the Holy Spirit for a common purpose: they were to be participants in the task of the Messiah; they were given a special privilege that no other would share.
Could God have chosen a different way to save His creation? Of course! But He didn’t. He placed His stamp of approval on two women and called them worthy of participating in His work. He invited them to fellowship with Him, to fellowship with each other. He gave them seats at His table, and He told them that they belonged.