Introduction: We now go back in the Gospel of Luke to the third scene within the Gospel. Luke has given a brief introduction and dedication of his work; he has gone on to foretell the birth of John the Baptist and then six months following that announcement by Gabriel to Zechariah, Gabriel’s telling Mary she is to be the mother of the Lord! While telling her these things he alludes to the fact it is her own kinswoman Elizabeth who is pregnant in her old age and so God can do anything including giving her a son while she is still a virgin. So Mary rushes off to go see Elizabeth and they try to discern perhaps just what is going on in their lives.
I) Mary enters John and Elizabeth’s home and as soon as she announces her presence Elizabeth knows she is with child and this child will be the Lord. She discerns all this evidently without any communication between her and Mary; instead it is her unborn son, John who leaps in her womb illustrating the power of God’s Spirit that is dwelling in Mary.
II) Mary is so moved by Elizabeth’s statement that she sings a song of praise to God, the Magnificat, which translated means declares the greatness of God, which is Mary’s hymn to God’s great beneficence. This hymn arises out of the Old Testament’s understanding of who God is and how he works. God’s power or in the Greek, dynamos, from which our word dynamite comes from, illustrates God’s incredible and unlikely love of his people. One would assume he loves those who have been blessed with great power and riches, but instead Mary proclaims it is the lowly, the forgotten and the poor that are showered with the love of God. She can say this because she is all these things, a young girl who has no authority or power in her world, where she is viewed as little more than chattel.
III) Luke concludes this scene with the fact that Mary would stay an extended period of time, three months, not quite to the conclusion of her pregnancy. The question that fills the air is what is going on here? Why does Mary stay this long and yet leave just before the big event? Since she stays this long what was the purpose of her visit and what transpired in the time spent with Zechariah who is still speechless and Elizabeth as they prepare for their son John whose name has no meaning or power in their family history. Nonetheless, she stays these three months and we are left to conjecture just what happens during her stay. This time together reminds me of how important just spending time with each other and most especially with God matters. We are called to listen to God during this Holy Season of Advent as we take Mary’s and Elizabeth’s bidding and wait with eager longing and expectancy for what God is about to do as he unleashes this great dynamos!