In today’s culture, “blessed” is a word we may hear or USE often. Perhaps we use it because it carries a promise of happiness and because it “feels” holy. In this familiar passage from Luke, “blessed” conveys happiness and the powerful promise of the Holy One to the fullest extent. After encountering the angel, Mary left to visit her aging cousin who was also expecting a child. From her own state of blessedness, Elizabeth exalts the promise of the coming of Her Lord through Mary and then speaks with the purest meaning of the word.
“Blessed is she who has believed”
By believing the extraordinary revelation which had come to her, Mary became aligned with God’s good will for her and for the whole world. At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth felt her unborn child leap for joy. We ourselves have experienced immeasurable joy if we have heard God’s news of His only begotten Son and have believed!
“…that what the Lord has said to her”
Can we even imagine how Mary received this news and what range of emotions she must have felt? The word the angel delivered to Mary would change her life forever. When His word comes to our hearts, our lives are also changed. We begin to trust, to rely on His goodness, and to experience His faithfulness. It’s why we read and study Scripture, why we worship, and why we listen in quiet meditation. Like Mary, we are blessed when we hear God’s message to us. It is a work of our Christian devotion to be always listening for the word of the Lord that brings us into line with his good will.
“…will be accomplished.”
The word “blessed” as we use it hardly seems powerful enough to describe the promise of God coming to dwell among us, but these were the very words spoken in this excited, yet intimate, conversation in Luke. Mary believed the promise, and through her God’s perfect will was accomplished through all the earth. This Advent, meditate on the promise of Christ in you, listen for how God would align you with His best will, trust Him with your fears and uncertainties, and may each of us rejoice in the assurance that God’s glorious promise for all people has been fulfilled—-even our Savior, Christ the Lord!
Prayer: Thanks be to You, O God, for Your unspeakable gift. Help us walk in Your love and work faithfully to listen, believe, and bless others in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Karen Bolton – 2016