And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home. (Luke 1:56)
I wonder if it was hard for Elizabeth to depend so much on Mary. Three months of fetching and carrying, sweeping and cleaning—because it's almost certain the hardest chores fell on Mary. Elizabeth was in her last trimester, and probably in her sixties or older.
I wonder if it was hard for Mary to depend so much on Elizabeth? After all, though they were relatives, Elizabeth was not her mother or sister. Mary was spending three months under her roof—eating her food, asking her advice, receiving her counsel.
If you've been brought up to be independent, it can be hard to depend on the kindness of others—even people close to you, like friends or family. And yet this is the way God intended us to live. As part of the body of Christ, we are interdependent whether we realize it or not. It wouldn't be a bad idea for us to get used to it!
Maybe this is part of the reason why Jesus came into this world as a tiny baby—utterly dependent on His mother for milk, warmth, life itself. Dependent on Joseph for protection and provision. Dependent on the wider community for so many things—the shelter He was born in, the roads His parents traveled, the safety He found in Egypt as a refugee Child. Jesus knows what it means to be dependent.
We, too, know what it means to be dependent, because we are utterly and happily dependent on Jesus. He is our Savior, who died to make us children of God. He is our Lord, who rose from the dead to give us eternal life. Maybe, if we have learned to depend on Him directly, we can learn to depend on Him through His people as well—with His help.
THE PRAYER: Lord, when I have trouble accepting help, help me! Amen.
* Is it easier for you to give help or accept it?
* Why do you think that is so?
* If you are willing, tell about a time when God blessed you through the help of another person.
Advent Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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