Luke 1:46+49: “Mary responded, ‘O, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me.’”

Two expectant mothers embracing each other weeping with joy! I cannot imagine how Mary must have felt when her relative immediately recognized the divine source of her pregnancy. Her situation, in a time when pregnancy out of wedlock was a valid reason to be judged and charged with the death penalty, was precarious to say the least.

Elizabeth and Zachariah offered Mary a sanctuary to prepare for the enormous changes ahead while shielding her from the outside world. What a relief for her to be welcomed that way! This made room for heart-to-heart talks as they reflected together on the amazing events leading up to their respective pregnancies, though Elizabeth’s husband Zachariah unfortunately could not be an active part of these conversations.

Previously, God had temporarily silenced him after his debacle with angel Gabriel. When Gabriel announced that his wife Elizabeth was going to give birth to a son, Zachariah doubted the messenger. If he had trouble believing his aging wife could get pregnant, God knows what went through his mind when faced with Mary’s miracle pregnancy.  Maybe it was a blessing in disguise that God allowed him to be silent for a while, so that he could stand back and watch incredible things unfold before his very eyes.  The words of Psalm 46:10 may have gone through his head:

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

I am wondering, in all our business, are we able to settle down, be still, and notice when a miracle happens?  When are we ready to take in what God has to say?  Does God have to submit us to a radical time-out, similar to what He did with Zachariah?  And what about heart-to-heart talks, conversations that break the mere surface level?  Have we cultivated friendships where such conversations can happen?  What if we made some quality time today like Mary and Elisabeth did? We might end up being encouraged and uplifted.

God is good – and it is good to tell Him just that!

Not that God needs to be reminded of His goodness, but we need to be reminded. Christmas is as good a time as any to pick up new habits.  Why don’t we make it a habit to chime into Mary’s song and praise the Lord? Guess what: lifting up the Lord, we get to be uplifted. Isn’t that a beautiful thing!

“Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—”
        Psalm 103:1-2

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