Luke 1:5-25, 57-66, 67-80
Mary and Elizabeth were cousins. Elizabeth’s hometown is not named, except that it was in the hill country of Judah. Elizabeth was from the tribe of Levi, so, perhaps, she could have come from the town of Hebron, which was a Levitical city. Mary would stay with Elizabeth for a period of three months until the time of John’s birth, and then she returned to Nazareth. Her song of Thanksgiving, called the “Magnificat” is similar to Hannah’s song, which was sung at the birth of Samuel. No doubt, Mary had sung Hannah’s song many times before. Now her song becomes a prayer of thanksgiving, recalling what God would do not only for His chosen people but also for the people of the world.
Elizabeth says, “Blessed are you among women…” God uses a simple, plain girl to bring His Son into the world. Of all women in the world, God chose Mary to be the mother of the Son of God. How is she blessed? She is blessed because Mary was chose as the mother of the Lord. She is blessed because Mary’s child is the Lord. She is blessed because Mary believed in the word of God. Elizabeth’s greeting brings true joy because of who is being born, it is Christ the Lord. Her greeting brings true joy because of what He is going to accomplish. He is the Savior, who is Christ, the Lord.
O God, You justify the ungodly and desire not the death of the sinner. Graciously assist us by Your heavenly aid and evermore shield us with Your protection, that no temptation may separate us from Your love in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
Schnorr von Carolsfeld Woodcut used with permission © WELS
Halley’s Bible Handbook An Abbreviated Bible Commentary Twenty-Third Edition, © 1962 Zondervan Grand Rapids
Collect for aid against temptation, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis