By: Chad Hyatt
Reflection—vv. 39-40, ‘Mary set out … and greeted Elizabeth’
Some unkind words were exchanged, a scuffle no doubt in the making. Then one of us stood up, and with a voice full of warmth and friendliness, he spoke gentle wisdom: ‘Hey,
we’ve all got to live together.’ This is wisdom for us all, but in a particular way, it is also a
call to the church. Luke draws a picture for us of basic Christian community, as Elizabeth and Mary come together and support one another, reveling in the impossible, liberating work God is doing in and through them for the whole world. It’s hard to paint a better picture of what the church ought to be than that. It’s significant that this first image of Christian community highlights its location at the margins. In ancient times—and far too often in our own times, wherever misogyny shouts in the streets or sits in the shadows— women were treated as objects, property, denied full personhood, used and forgotten. It is to such women that God reveals the liberating work of the gospel. Here, with them, at the margins is where God starts to work—and still does. Notice how Luke is careful to tell us how the lives of these women intersect, and in their coming together, we see the first flowering of Christian community. There is a word here for us. As our wise community member reminds us, we’ve all got to live together. Let us listen to the prophets God raises up for us, then and now, so that we may become prophetic, liberating communities, too.
Prayer: God of prophets, help us to live together.