Mary, Mary, quite contrary!
Contrary to everybody’s expectations, Mary was pregnant well before her wedding. That was an absolute no-no in a society where pregnancy out of wedlock prompted the death penalty! Probably to protect herself from any unwanted attention, Mary decided to disappear for a while; and when she heard that her relative Elizabeth was also expecting a child she went to see her. With a 70-mile-walking-distance, the trip must have taken her several days.
The reception at Elizabeth’s home was warm and heartfelt. Here they were – two expectant mothers standing in the doorway weeping with joy as they embraced each other. In her first trimester Mary could not have been obviously pregnant. So the fact that Elizabeth immediately knew about it was quite the revelation, not to mention her understanding of the unusual circumstances leading up to it.
Elizabeth herself was no stranger to a miracle pregnancy. She had been well past her childbearing years when angel Gabriel announced that she would have a son. Her husband Zachariah, unfortunately, doubted the messenger and found himself grounded by God. For a while his ability to speak was taken from him according to the motto: if you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all!
As it turns out, there was a lot of wisdom in his God-imposed silence. If Zachariah had trouble believing his aging wife could have a son, what do you think would have come out of his mouth as he ran into Mary, Mary, quite contrary? It wouldn’t have been pretty, I’m sure! Instead, he now stood back and watched incredible things unfold before his very eyes. The words of Psalm 46:10 may have gone through his head (Psalm 46:10):
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
In this day and age, are we able to settle down, be still, and listen with our hearts? Rushing through life without taking meaningful breaks, we will definitely miss out on the good things God has in store for us; miracles in our lives may very well go unnoticed.
God is good – and it is good to tell Him just that! Not that God needs to be reminded of His goodness, but most of all: 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 new habit to take note of the good things around us and be thankful? We will find that by lifting up the Lord, we will be uplifted.