Mary had a front-row seat for an unbelievable life full of amazing stories: the angel Gabriel showing up out of the blue to tell her that she, a virgin, was pregnant (Luke 1:26-38)-and not just expecting, but expecting the Son of God; the baby’s birth in an animal shed far from home (Luke 2:1-7); the odd parade of well-wishers saying beautiful and occasionally frightening things (Matt 2:1-12; Luke 2:8-38); the mad dash to Egypt to escape Herod’s wrath (Matt 2:13-14).Continue reading WOMEN OF THE BIBLE (MARY “THE MOTHER AND FIRST DISCIPLE OF JESUS”)
Elizabeth, mentioned only in Luke’s Gospel, was married to a priest named Zechariah. “Both were righteous in God’s sight, living without blame according to all the commands and requirements of the Lord” (Luke 1:6).
Yet in a culture where children were viewed as a primary evidence of God’s blessing, they were also childless. Elizabeth was unable to conceive. This barrenness was a source of deep disgrace to her (Luke 1:25). Only those who’ve suffered through fertility issues can fully appreciate the sting of all those unanswered prayers, the piercing pain of an empty nursery. Since Elizabeth and Zechariah “were well along in year” (Luke 1:7), it’s not unreasonable to assume that they had given up the hope of ever becoming parents. Continue reading WOMAN OF THE DAY (ELIXABETH: THE MOTHER OF JOHN THE BAPTIST)