Sometimes we aren’t the Mary or Joseph in the story. We’re not even wisemen or shepherds. We’re so far on the sidelines that most people don’t even mention us in the story. Like Elizabeth. Many people who have heard the story of Jesus’ birth don’t even know who Elizabeth is.

But Elizabeth’s role in the story was still crucial. Elizabeth was John the Baptist’s mother, Mary’s relative, a woman with another miraculous birth story. Just after the angel visits Mary and announces her pregnancy, Mary makes for the hills. Literally. Scripture says she heads to the Judean hills “with haste,” to visit Elizabeth.

I mean, I’d be in the same boat if my life just got turned upside down. She runs to Elizabeth, and Elizabeth envelopes her in an embrace of acceptance and support. She exclaims her congratulations (I picture all caps and giggling), and calls Mary “blessed among women.”

Elizabeth could have reacted with disbelief. Pregnant as a virgin?

Elizabeth could have reacted with jealousy. Her birth story is overshadowing mine!

Elizabeth could have been indifferent. Another relative escaping the city.

But no, Elizabeth joyfully accepts her place in the story. She takes Mary in, comforting, encouraging, nurturing, blessing, and caring for her in her time of loneliness, need, and maybe fear.

Maybe right now you find yourself on the sidelines. Doing unseen work. Overshadowed by someone you love. Setting a stage someone else will dance across. If you do, I hope you are reminded that your work is not unseen, unvalued, or unimportant to God.

Who are the Marys in your life that need an Elizabeth? How can we come alongside those who are serving God and encourage, welcome, and bless them? What can that look like today?

Lord, thank you for the Elizabeths you have given in the times of need in my life. Thank you for their humility, joy, and compassion. May you bless them and encourage them.

Action Step: Ask God who in your life needs encouragement and acceptance today. Maybe it’s a pastor, friend, neighbor, family member, or church member. Shoot them a text affirming their Mary-like courage and obedience.

Tags: Luke 1 The Blessing women children child of God Mary