IT STRIKES ME AS SAD what Mary does after Gabriel tells her she’s going to get pregnant somehow with the help of God’s Spirit.
Presumbably after the Spirit impregnates her, Mary does what unmarried pregnant girls have done all along.
Get out of town.
Go see Aunt Lizzie, Uncle Zeek, or anyone else far away from hometown gossips.
“As soon as she could, Mary got the dickens out of town. She took to the hills. She went to a town in Judea. There, she reached the home of Zechariah. Elizabeth welcomed her” (Luke 1:36, Casual English Bible ™).*
It’s about a week’s walk from Nazareth, where Mary lived, to the Judean town of Jerusalem. That’s where the priest Zechariah worked in the temple. It’s roughly 90 meandering miles (150 km).
As soon as Mary gets there, Elizabeth—who is a relative of some kind—recognizes that Mary is pregnant. “Elizabeth gave a glad cry… ‘Your child is blessed’” (Luke 1:42).
Elizabeth is six months pregnant herself. Three months later, she delivers the baby who will become famous as John the Baptist.
Mary goes back home, three months into a baby bump.
Then the story gets complicated.
This coming Sunday I’m leading a Bible study session titled “Mary, scorned for Jesus.” We’ll talk about some of the hardships Mary likely faced during her pregnancy and throughout her life. These are hardships she endured for the sake of her son.
Then we’ll bring her story close to home. We’ll talk about people in our life who have faced hardships for us. We’ll think about what the hardships were and we’ll ask ourselves whether or not our gratitude measures up.
I’m thinking now about some people in my life whose journey became a bit harder because of me.
For more about Mary
- Mary’s Song: I took it personal
- Who’s Who & Where’s Where in the Bible, pages 306-307
- “Baby Jesus, from Bethlehem to Egypt,” A Quick Guided Tour Through the Bible, pages 155-159
- “Mary and Joseph Engaged,” Understanding Jesus, pages 30-43
Free books for Christmas
I’ve got some fresh, giveaway copies of A Quick Guided Tour Through the Bible.
They are not for you. They are for someone you know.
If you’re reading this, you probably know what kind of easy-reading Bible background books I write. If you know of someone who might find this book helpful, but who wouldn’t be able to afford it or who probably wouldn’t bother buying a book like this, shoot me an email with their name and a sentence about why you’d like me to send them a free copy.
Once I get the list together, I’ll get back to as many of you as possible and I’ll ask for mailing addresses.
I’ll send out as many free copies as I can, in time for Christmas.
No fair asking for freebie copies for yourself this time. Today we’re thinking of the other guy. Or gal.
*Casual English Bible TM Copyright 2015 is a paraphrase I’m working on