Welcome to Part Two of our Advent Bible Study on Mary. Check out Part One if you are just joining in today. Last weeks study was the longest of the 4 so if you felt a bit overwhelmed you can rest easier today.
Remember: participation is up to whatever level you can manage. Just reading through and thinking about it as you do, writing your responses down in your personal journal, leaving a comment or question in the comments section or emailing thoughts to me. You could chat to a local friend about what comes up or if you get really excited you are welcome to use these questions for your family or small group study time. I'd love to know if you do so let me know!
So go and grab your Bible, a cup of tea and a some biscuits and whatever else you might need and let's get into studying the character of the wonderful woman Mary, the Mother of our Lord.
Mary's relationship with Elizabeth
Read Luke 1:39-45
Q13. What purpose do you see in Mary visiting Elizabeth?
Q14. Gabriel told Mary about Elizabeth being pregnant even though she was old and barren before saying 'nothing is impossible with God'. Mary and Elizabeth are in a unique situation of being pregnant with special people because God intervened. When something significant (positive and negative) happens in your life do you find yourself drawing nearer to those who understand? What benefits does this give you?
Women are important for so many reasons but in this passage we see the value of sharing your life with another woman who understands, encourages and rejoices with us.
Q15. Elizabeth offered Mary great words of encouragement and joy – ‘You are blessed!’. Who in your life could do with some encouragement right now? What could you say? What action will you take? You could write a letter, make a phone call or send text. I encourage you to something right after this study so you don't forget!
Q16. Do you need an Elizabeth in your life to encourage you, share with and rejoice with? Do you have someone like this? When was the last time you thanked them for their role in your life?
In this busy time of preparing for Christmas it is so easy to get caught up in the decorations, play rehearsals, gift buying, meal planning, family balancing, travel arrangements and the rest. I encourage you to take time this week, as you reflect on the nature of Mary's relationship with Elizabeth, to place significance on the relationships that are a blessing to you. Set time aside to have a conversation, make contact and build on those relationships through encouragement and gratitude. And don't forget those whom you might not be close to but that you feel could really do with some building up.
Don't save the kind words and thoughtful gifts for Christmas day!
Come back and share the things you have done this week to be an encourager like Elizabeth so that we can rejoice with you over the blessing of friendship.
Be blessed this week.