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Advent: Mary and Elizabeth

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Mary and Elizabeth

Background for Grown-ups

When the angel tells Mary she is going to have a baby he also tells her that her cousin Elizabeth, who is too old to have children, is pregnant as well. Mary then hurries off to visit Elizabeth, probably to see if this news is true. Mary and Elizabeth have something in common that nobody else in the world can relate to – miraculous pregnancies made possible by God. They’re able to support each other in ways nobody else can, and share their mix of excitement, fear, joy, and apprehension with each other. We all need somebody we can confide in during big life events.

Bible Story

  • Read the story about Mary and Elizabeth in Luke 1:39-45 or in your favorite Bible Storybook Bible. Wonder about the story together
  • Wonder about the story together:
    • I wonder why Mary went to visit Elizabeth.
    • I wonder how Mary felt when her cousin Elizabeth greeted her and called her blessed by God.
    • I wonder who you would talk to if you needed someone to talk to about something God wanted you to do.
    • I wonder who you talk to when you are worried about something.


Dear God, thank you for our family and friends, especially (name people you’re thankful for). Thank you for putting people in our lives who we can count on to support us in good and bad times, just like Mary and Elizabeth supported each other. Amen.


Choose one or more of the activities to do with your family to explore the story!

 1. Encouragement Party

Mary must have been so encouraged by Elizabeth’s words to her. To throw an encouragement party with your family, tape a blank piece of paper to everyone’s back, with their name written on top and then go around writing encouraging things on everyone else’s pieces of paper. Younger kids can draw something encouraging. Once everyone has written on everyone else’s paper take the papers off and read the encouraging notes out loud. If writing on backs is too hard you can sit around a table and pass the papers around, or set up different stations in a room with one person’s paper at each station. Continue the party by doing something your family enjoys – having a dance party, eating your favorite foods, watching a favorite movie, etc. (Idea adapted from childrensministry.com)


2. Help an Extended Family MemberMary traveled to visit her cousin Elizabeth and the two women supported and encouraged each other in their pregnancies. Does anybody in your extended family (either biological or chosen family) need some support or encouragement? You might not be able to visit them right now but you can support them in other ways. You could video chat with them, mail them a card or a care package, cook them dinner and bring it to their house, etc. Brainstorm ideas and then pick one. Pray for this person and let them know that you’re grateful God put them in your life.

3. Write Your Own Magnificat

After Elizabeth greets Mary and tells her that her own baby jumped for joy in her womb when Mary walked in, Mary responds with a poem that we call the “Magnificat.” Magnificat is Latin for “I praise God for.” Read Mary’s Magnificat poem and identify what Mary is praising God for, then write your own. You can start your poem with “I praise God for….” and write about what you want to praise God for. 

Mary’s Magnificat (CEV translation)

“With all my heart I praise the Lord,
and I am glad because of God my Savior.
God cares for me, his humble servant.
From now on, all people will say
God has blessed me.
God All-Powerful has done great things for me, and his name is holy.
He always shows mercy
to everyone who worships him.
The Lord has used his powerful arm
to scatter those who are proud.
God drags strong rulers from their thrones
and puts humble people in places of power.
God gives the hungry good things to eat,
and sends the rich away with nothing.
God helps his servant Israel
and is always merciful to his people.
The Lord made this promise to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his family forever!”

(Idea from worshippingwithchildren.blogspot.com)