“Now at this time Mary arose and went in a hurry to the hill country, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth” (Luke 1:39-40 NRSV).
As we reflect this Advent season, we need to ask ourselves if we are living our faith with a sense of urgency. Immediately after Mary’s conversation with the angel Gabriel, Mary hurriedly goes to visit Elizabeth. Mary had been informed by the angel Gabriel that Elizabeth had also received a blessing from God by being able to conceive in her old age, so it is to Elizabeth that Mary eagerly goes to share about the blessing that God has bestowed upon her.
I believe that it is important to ponder on the importance of Mary rushing to see Elizabeth and the result of Mary’s desire to share with Elizabeth the joy of God’s blessing. Scripture tells us that when Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby in her womb leaped and it was then that Elizabeth was “filled with the Holy Spirit” (Luke 1:41). What significance might this have for our faith journeys? I think part of the answer is in Elizabeth’s response to Mary after being filled with the Holy Spirit. Elizabeth exclaims, “And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord” (Luke 1:45).
Mary believed. This is what gave Mary the courage to risk saying yes to God, and this is what led to her being blessed. Belief leads to blessing, and having been blessed, she felt compelled to go share her blessing with someone who had also been blessed by God—Elizabeth. When we believe, truly believe, that God will be faithful, then we reap the blessings of living in that belief, and we want to share with others what God is doing for us—immediately and with urgency.
I find it interesting that Mary’s urgency in sharing her blessing resulted in Elizabeth being filled with the Holy Spirit. How then, might we impact others when we live in the urgency of our faith and share the joy of our blessings from God with others? This sharing of joy that comes from living in the blessing of belief impacts others as we place a priority on it, as we hurriedly go to share with others. Are we living our faith with urgency? Do we seek to share the blessing of believing in God with others? Do we doubt the impact that our stories of faith have on others?
Part of our preparation in waiting for Christ’s return is to check and see if we are living our faith with urgency. If we believe that God will fulfill what God has spoken to us, we should be hurrying to share the blessings of that belief with others. The sharing of our blessings is an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to speak to those around us.