Blessed Art Thou

Every part of the nativity story is incredible in itself.  God was bringing his age-old plan to fruition.  Jesus was leaving the Father and coming to earth to be our Savior, the Messiah.  One part of the story is Mary’s visit to Elisabeth.  She had conceived in her old age and was six months along.  Think about what Elisabeth said in her greeting to Mary.  It helps us understand that our lives can be like Mary’s—blessed.

Luke 1: 39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;40 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. 48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. 56 And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.

Mary had just experienced the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit.  She was betrothed to Joseph but remained a virgin until after the birth of Jesus.  One of the first things she did was go to Elisabeth, her older cousin, on the outskirts of Jerusalem.  Long before the wise men would seek the child and alert Herod to his birth, Mary—with the baby in her womb—was right under Herod’s nose.  King Herod had his eyes and hands in everything and on everyone, but little did he know that right down the street was the King of Kings.  He was under Herod’s nose for three months.  We should be concerned about the world but don’t be defeated.  God is still in control.  Jesus is still saving souls and is alive and well.  Victory is still in Jesus.  Defeat is in the devil.  People may enjoy sin for a season, but it is transient.  Because Jesus is present we can still be blessed and enjoy the hand of God in our lives.  Praise God that Jesus still shines in this world.

Elisabeth was carrying John the Baptist. When she heard Mary’s greeting, her baby did too and leaped for joy in his mother’s womb.  She knew it wasn’t just a regular baby kick.  He shouted for joy not waiting until he saw Jesus in the wilderness.  He was close to Jesus and he praised him.  Elisabeth knew it too.  She said to Mary blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.  That’s not a catechism.  She was saying Mary was blessed because of what she was doing.  She believed what the angel said when she was told she had been chosen by God.  God made the choice when choosing us.  We chose him in response to his choice for us.  Jesus doesn’t want anyone to die lost.  That’s why he came.  He’s near to us, closer than we can imagine.  Mary was blessed because she believed.  Regardless of how bad it might seem Jesus is close.  Continue to put your faith in him and you will be blessed.

Before Mary ever had the child in her womb, she was willing to take him.  She received and carried him by faith in her heart.  That faith and belief brought him to her womb.  We choose to believe and receive him and then carry him in our heart.  He must sit on the throne of our heart.  He wants to direct us each day.  No devil out of hell can defeat us if we keep Jesus in our heart.

Everyone was excited and showing it. Mary believed.  She was blessed. She carried Jesus in her heart and her womb.  She was blessed because of her submission.  She was a young virgin with a life ahead of her.  She had plans and dreams of her own.  That all stopped when an angel told her God wanted her to be the mother of the Christ child.  She had been faithful, but it was up to her; it was her choice.  This wasn’t a nine month deal that would then go away.  It would affect the rest of her life.  She didn’t hesitate.  Every day of her life was given to the Lord. She submitted.  She committed.  She surrendered her life unto God and became part of his plan.  It’s not because she was immaculate or divine.  She was blessed because she believed and surrendered her life to God.  When Jesus died for our sins, he also died for hers.

Blessing comes with a price.  It cost Jesus his life.  It costs us to surrender and commit to the Lord.  Is that blessing worth it?  You’d better believe it!  That’s why Mary said my soul doth magnify the Lord.  For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.  Let’s do the same and we can enjoy the blessedness of being a child of God.

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