This is not a pregnancy announcement :D.
It’s not really a full blog post either.
I was thinking about writing something about Elizabeth’s pregnancy with John the Baptist. After all, it’s almost Christmas, when we celebrate the birth of Jesus―and Elizabeth’s miraculous pregnancy and Mary’s were closely connected.
I love the story Luke tells about Mary’s visit to her relative Elizabeth, when Mary had just become pregnant with Jesus and Elizabeth was in the sixth month of her pregnancy with John the Baptist:
At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” (Luke 1:39-45)
I love that John’s mother was something of a prophet in her own right. The Holy Spirit filled her, and she spoke: words of blessing, words of foretelling, words of wisdom. Words of humility and wonder and hope and joy and faith.
I also love what Mary said in response:
My soul exalts the Lord,
and my spirit has begun to rejoice in God my Savior,
because he has looked upon the humble state of his servant.
For from now on all generations will call me blessed,
because he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name;
from generation to generation he is merciful to those who fear him.
He has demonstrated power with his arm; he has scattered those whose pride wells up from the sheer arrogance of their hearts.
He has brought down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up those of lowly position;
he has filled the hungry with good things, and has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, remembering his mercy,
as he promised to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.(Luke 1:46-55)
Good things happen when women speak and write and preach and make poetry! I love that Elizabeth’s words of blessing called forth these brave and beautiful words from Mary.
I also love that Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three months after that (Luke 1:56). These two women from two different generations showed up for each other and supported one another in a time when there weren’t too many other people who would or could understand what God was doing in their lives.
Mostly, though, I just wanted to share a link to an article about Elizabeth’s pregnancy that I thought was interesting. It’s written by Lara Freidenfelds, who is a historian of health, reproduction, and pregnancy, and has spent fifteen years writing a book about miscarriage.
I love it when people with expertise in all sorts of different (non-theology) subject areas bring all of their intelligence and years of study into their reading of the Bible and share what they think.
I also love it when women speak and write on the women of the Bible (as well as just in general).
So Dr. Freidenfelds’ article is cool. I hope you enjoy it. (If not now, because Christmas Eve and family and everything, then maybe bookmark it for later :).)
Merry Christmas Eve!