In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
Luke 1:39-44 starts off with the phrase “in those days.” What days? Well, for that you have to look at the previous passages. Already in Luke chapter 1, Elizabeth and Zechariah have learned they will be parents, and in the very next section Mary is told she will have a child. Right after the angel visits Mary, she travels to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who is now six months pregnant. With John the Baptist. And as Elizabeth hears Mary’s voice, John starts kicking from pure joy! He’s in the presence of Jesus, and he knows it! At this point Jesus probably wouldn’t have shown up on even our best ultrasound, but He was there in Mary’s womb, growing.
I love the connection between mother and child that is so evident in this passage. Elizabeth hears Mary’s voice, and John jumps. The wonders of how God knits us together just astound me. I read an article in the last year (I’m sorry that I don’t have a link for you, but if someone knows it feel free to put a link in the comments below). This article described how trace cells from each pregnancy remain in the mother long after her child is born, even until her own death. That connection can never be fully severed. And while I firmly believe that when two people get married, they are called to leave their father and mother and cling to each other (scripture commands it for our own good), it is impossible to completely remove the biological link we have.
That’s especially comforting for me, knowing that even as my children are in heaven, a tiny physical part of each of them is still within me. Even if the science proves untrue, I still carry my memories and feelings towards each of them, and I carry their story – our story – to the world. And much like John, I leap for joy in knowing the presence of Christ as I do it!