Main Scriptures: Luke 1 and Matthew 1
When I first moved to Nashville 16 years ago, there seemed to be a massive influx of people coming from all over the world. What was really cool about that was if you asked someone why they moved to Nashville, even if the immediate answer was “for music” (and it was 99% of the time), there was a main reason that was often said in almost as low as a whisper:
“Okay this may sound crazy but God told me to move here.”
What a relief it was to hear so many people say the same thing! While music and entertainment might have been the means, as always there was an underlying purpose. There was a solidarity that formed because so many of us were on the same crazy adventure. There’s something comforting about meeting other people that are going out on a limb like you are to bring something different to the world. Life can seem pretty isolating when you haven’t found those people yet.
When Mary the mother of Jesus found out that she was going to be an unwed virgin mother to the Savior of the world, I’d imagine there was no community for that; There was no church small group, no online chatroom, no community support meetups. Quite the opposite actually. Being a young, unwed mother was a disgrace at that time. And if asked how it happened, who in the world was going to believe this story:
Luke 1: 27- 35
27 The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.
Can you imagine having to think about how you were going to explain that to people? What’s so great about this story is that God knew that this was not something that Mary should have to go through by herself. His timing is so great. God loves community and created us to be in relationship with one another. He already had someone who was in a similar circumstance for her to visit so that she didn’t have to try and wrap her mind around this new reality alone.
36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”
38“I am the Lordʼs servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
Mary’s relative Elizabeth also had a miracle in the oven and her kid was to be no slacker either. The same angel visited Elizabeth’s husband and told him that although they were both old and Elizabeth was barren, they would conceive a child that would “be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born… bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God… go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (Luke 1:14-17). Elizabeth was 6 months pregnant with John the Baptist.
Two very different women on parallel journeys to miraculously birth something that would not only change the world but the course of history altogether. This was huge! Here’s why Mary and Elizabeth are #SquadGoals and what we can learn from them while being in the industry: