Liz Curtis Higgs, author of The Women of Christmas wrote, “Three women played vital roles in the Messiah’s birth: Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna. Their lives were markedly different. Elizabeth was married, settled, mature. Her kinswoman Mary was young, still living at home, and engaged to a carpenter. Anna was an elderly widow whose every waking hour wholly dedicated to God.”
And they all learned from one another. Three different generations, three women devoted to God.
When the angel Gabriel told Mary how she would conceive he also shared the news of her cousin, Elisabeth.
Luke 1:36—And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
Luke 1:39-And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah
I love how the scripture reveals to us the urgency of Mary. She didn’t waste any time getting to her cousin’s side. Was it because Mary thought Elisabeth needed her or did Mary need Elisabeth?
They needed each other.
The Bible tells us that Elisabeth was well past her childbearing age. Zacharias referred to his wife as “well stricken in years”.
And Mary, so young. Two women so very distant in age but hearts entwined with one another.
Because of family.
Because they were women.
Because of two miracle babies growing inside their wombs.
Because of God’s love.
As soon as Elisabeth heard Mary’s voice, she knew. Her baby knew. I can only imagine both women falling into each other’s arms to their knees, embracing each other with hugs, gentle cheek kisses, smiles, tears of joy, prayer.
Luke 1:40-45–And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sound in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.
And Elisabeth praised Mary for her faith and her obedience to God.
Mary stayed with Elisabeth for three months, her first trimester before returning to her home. During Mary’s visit with Elisabeth I expect these two women spent much time in prayer, baking bread, sewing baby clothes and long talks about pregnancy, the unknown of their childbirths to come and God’s goodness.
They needed each other and God provided.
The Bible doesn’t tell us this but I truly believe Elisabeth gave Mary the encouragement she needed to go back home and share her good news. Although Mary’s faith was strong, we all need encouragement at times when life gets hard and dark.
We have so much to learn from Godly women. God offers these women in our lives for a reason–for strength, love, inspiration, encouragement. Seek out these ladies, these gifts, spend time with them, learn.
She was standing outside in her yard in her puffy coat and flannel pajamas and she was hugging this fat cat with a tail that was swinging like a pendulum on a clock. And her wide smile shouted ‘I’m just waiting on the snow to begin.’
And there’s these little girls and young ladies growing up–girls who are looking to us women to help guide them. And guide them God’s way.
How to be a gift this Christmas
Place an extra tip in the jar
Listen for the bell and drop a gift inside the red Salvation Army buckets
And say Merry Christmas to everyone you see