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Mean Girls in the Church

How to become women who embolden rather than undermine

I am reminded of the friendship between Mary and Elizabeth. Mary, the soon-to-be-mother of not just any bouncing baby boy, but the Messiah himself, enters the home of another pregnant mother, Elizabeth.

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!”

And Mary said:

“My soul glorifies the Lord

and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

for he has been mindful

Of the humble state of his servant.

From now on all generations will call me blessed,

for the mighty One has done great things for me—

holy is his name.

His mercy extends to those who fear him,

from generation to generation.

He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;

He has scattered those who are proud in their in most thoughts.

He has brought down rulers from their thrones

but has lifted up the humble.

He has filled the hungry with good things

but has sent the rich away empty.

He has helped his servant Israel,

remembering to be merciful

to Abraham and his descendants forever,

Just as he promised our ancestors.”

Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home (Luke 1:39–56).

Faced with a Choice

A scene that could have easily gone awry is a glorious picture of women who embolden women. Mary enters the home of another pregnant woman, and there could have been comparing, jealousy, and passive aggressiveness. Mary was pregnant with the Messiah, after all, and Elizabeth was not. But instead, Elizabeth flings open the doors, embraces her, welcomes her, identifies with her, and blesses her—“blessed are you among women!” After she is blessed by Elizabeth, Mary is emboldened, propelled, and impelled to proclaim one of the most beautiful, prophetic songs in Scripture. Will you be an Elizabeth today?

November14, 2017 at 8:00 AM

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