In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord." And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.” And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home. Luke 1:39-48a
Dear Aunt Elizabeth,
We are finally in Bethlehem, but the accommodations are, by far, not the best. Every inn was booked solid and Joseph was turned away at every one. He almost gave in to despair, but one Innkeeper took pity, when he found out I was pregnant, and told us we could stay in the stable. Classy, huh? Well, it's fairly clean and there are several sleeping lofts, as their stable help and shepherds sleep here in rough weather. Joseph has been so frustrated; he wanted to do things right, but this is not his fault at all and I keep telling him that!
I think I have begun to think I won't make it back to see Mama before this child comes. The pains have started a little, off and on, and I am not able to do much. Joseph had gone to the Inn keeper's wife for help and advice, and she is sending for the wise women to come and check me. I wish it didn't have to be strangers around my bed, I wish it was you or my mother! I feel like a helpless little girl! Folks are relatively kind here though and checking in on us at regular intervals. Joseph is holding on but his face give away his panic and concern. I keep reminding him that he didn't do this, and that God had a reason and will see us through. I do believe that, I just wish I was stronger and more calm. Our time together made me stronger than I have ever been, and I try to remember all the things you taught me.
I love you and miss you.Please pray for us!