Peace be with you!
Life can be overwhelming at times. Your boss gives you not enough time to finish the biggest project in your career. Your wife is diagnosed with breast cancer just as you loose your job along with the health insurance. Your daughter is raped in her college dorm. Your son is deaf and is hit by a school bus on his way to work. Or [whatever “it” is] that is going on in your life. Zechariah, Elizabeth, and Mary get the most overwhelming news in their lives by the angel Gabriel that God has plans for them.
The angel Gabriel visits Zechariah, a priest, about Elizabeth, his wife, having a baby, which he has a hard time believing because they are both old (Luke 1:16-25). It is overwhelming news for Zechariah, because Elizabeth barren and having a baby as an old lady is even harder and dangerous. When she does have a child, Elizabeth sings the Lord praises (Luke 1:24-25).
Elizabeth and Zechariah are not the only people the angel Gabriel gives overwhelming news to. The angel Gabriel visits Mary who is engaged to Joseph and is a virgin and tells her she is with child (Luke 1:32). Mary gets confused because she should not be able to have a baby yet. The angel Gabriel tells Mary God has looked upon her with favor and made her with child through the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35).
Mary decides to go visit Elizabeth and Zechariah when she hears the news (Luke 1:39-40). As soon as Mary sees her, the child in Elizabeth’s womb jumps for joy and Elizabeth shouts with joy that the Lord has blessed them both (Luke 1:41-45). Elizabeth’s son (John the Baptist) will lead the way for Mary’s son (Jesus). The two women will be forever bond together.
Mary answers Elizabeth’s praises by singing God praises for blessing her. Mary understands God could have chosen a more suitable woman to be the mother to his son: someone married, older, wiser, richer, etc. To the world, Mary is young girl who is not married yet from a poor family with little consequence. God’s son should be born in royalty with all the power in the world. Yet Mary will be remembered by future generations (Luke 1:48b) for being the mother of God’s son. For this, Mary sings God’s praises – not because God gives her an easy life but because he gives her a reason to live out her faith.
We have a lot to learn from Mary. Many times when God gives us overwhelming news we run, hide, duck our heads, scream at the closest person to us, throw things, give up, etc. The last thing we do is praise God. Even with the overwhelming news, Mary sings God praises for blessing her with the greatest gift.
Come, Lord Jesus, Come!
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for giving Elizabeth and Mary a reason to live out their faith. Help us to have to their wisdom to sing you praises during overwhelming times. Give us the courage to be strong in our faith. Thank you for the many blessing in our lives. Amen.
Thanks to the Triune God – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Please answer the following reflective questions in the comments below. Please agree to disagree and be respectful to each other. (If you have not already done so, please also take a moment, to sign the comment covenant.) You can answer as many questions as you would like.
1. Who do you visit when you get overwhelming news?
2. How will you be remembered?
3. When do you sing God praises?