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An example of mutual support

December 16, 2021

Daily Scripture

Luke 1:42-45, 54-56

Elizabeth to Mary:

42 With a loud voice she blurted out, “God has blessed you above all women, and he has blessed the child you carry. 43 Why do I have this honor, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. 45 Happy is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill the promises he made to her.”

Mary in response:

54 He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,
remembering his mercy,
55 just as he promised to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to Abraham’s descendants forever.”

56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months, and then returned to her home.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Sometimes details tell the story. Gabriel told Mary that Elizabeth was six months pregnant (cf. Luke 1:36). Mary stayed with Elizabeth “about three months.” 6+3=9—likely until John the Baptist was born to Elizabeth (Luke reported that birth in Luke 1:57-80). Surely young Mary helped Elizabeth a lot in practical, physical ways, as well as emotional and spiritual ways, in the last months of pregnancy. Their relationship, like all strong ones, wasn’t one-sided but depended on mutual sharing and helping.

  • As you reflect on this lovely story of support and sharing, remember (and remember to thank) those who have blessed you with love and understanding when you really needed it. And ask, “Who could my caring support help this Advent?” When has someone affirmed you by noticing God at work in your life? When have you encouraged someone else? Who can you affirm and encourage today?
  • Mary said Jesus would fulfill God’s promises “to Abraham and to Abraham’s descendants forever.” Seasons of ugly distrust and hatred between Abraham’s Jewish descendants and Jesus’ followers darken the story of God’s people. The apostle Paul, Jewish like Jesus, would later write, “If you belong to Christ, then indeed you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29). How does Advent show how your faith links with God’s promises to Abraham?

The Journey: A Season of Reflections

Today’s Insights blog was chapter 17, “Who Is Your Mary? Who Is Your Elizabeth?” from The Journey: A Season of Reflections, by Adam Hamilton. Copyright © 2011 by Abingdon Press, and available on our website for 24 hours by permission of Abingdon Press. If you’d like to buy the entire book of reflections, you can click here for a direct link to the Cokesbury sale page, as well as other Journey resources.


God, keep reminding me that you kept your promises to Elizabeth and Mary—and that you still do that today. Give me opportunities to give to others as Elizabeth and Mary gave to one another. Amen.

GPS Insights

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Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.