26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee,27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David.28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings,[a] favored woman! The Lord is with you![b]”
29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean.30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God!31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David.33 And he will reign over Israel[c] forever; his Kingdom will never end!”
34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”
35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.36 What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month.37 For the word of God will never fail.[d]”
38 Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.
Mary Visits Elizabeth
39 A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town40 where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth.41 At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
42 Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed.43 Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me?44 When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy.45 You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.”
The Magnificat: Mary’s Song of Praise
46 Mary responded,
“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. 47 How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! 48 For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed. 49 For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me. 50 He shows mercy from generation to generation to all who fear him. 51 His mighty arm has done tremendous things! He has scattered the proud and haughty ones. 52 He has brought down princes from their thrones and exalted the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands. 54 He has helped his servant Israel and remembered to be merciful. 55 For he made this promise to our ancestors, to Abraham and his children forever.”
56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back to her own home.
For the choir director: A psalm[a] of David, regarding the time he fled from Saul and went into the cave. To be sung to the tune “Do Not Destroy!”
1 Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy! I look to you for protection. I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until the danger passes by. 2 I cry out to God Most High,[b] to God who will fulfill his purpose for me. 3 He will send help from heaven to rescue me, disgracing those who hound me. Interlude My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness.
4 I am surrounded by fierce lions who greedily devour human prey— whose teeth pierce like spears and arrows, and whose tongues cut like swords.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens! May your glory shine over all the earth.
6 My enemies have set a trap for me. I am weary from distress. They have dug a deep pit in my path, but they themselves have fallen into it. Interlude
7 My heart is confident in you, O God; my heart is confident. No wonder I can sing your praises! 8 Wake up, my heart! Wake up, O lyre and harp! I will wake the dawn with my song. 9 I will thank you, Lord, among all the people. I will sing your praises among the nations. 10 For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
11 Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens. May your glory shine over all the earth.
57:TitleHebrew miktam. This may be a literary or musical term.
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