26 One month later God sent the angel Gabriel to the town of Nazareth in Galilee 27 with a message for a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to Joseph from the family of King David. 28 The angel greeted Mary and said, “You are truly blessed! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was confused by the angel’s words and wondered what they meant. 30 Then the angel told Mary, “Don’t be afraid! God is pleased with you, 31 and you will have a son. His name will be Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of God Most High. The Lord God will make him king, as his ancestor David was. 33 He will rule the people of Israel forever, and his kingdom will never end.”
34 Mary asked the angel, “How can this happen? I am not married!”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come down to you, and God’s power will come over you. So your child will be called the holy Son of God. 36 Your relative Elizabeth is also going to have a son, even though she is old. No one thought she could ever have a baby, but in three months she will have a son. 37 Nothing is impossible for God!”
38 Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant! Let it happen as you have said.” And the angel left her.
Mary Visits Elizabeth
39 A short time later Mary hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea. 40 She went into Zechariah’s home, where she greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, her baby moved within her.
The Holy Spirit came upon Elizabeth. 42 Then in a loud voice she said to Mary:
God has blessed you more than any other woman! He has also blessed the child you will have. 43 Why should the mother of my Lord come to me? 44 As soon as I heard your greeting, my baby became happy and moved within me. 45 The Lord has blessed you because you believed that he will keep his promise.
Mary’s Song of Praise
46 Mary said:
With all my heart I praise the Lord, 47 and I am glad because of God my Savior. 48 He cares for me, his humble servant. From now on, all people will say God has blessed me. 49 God All-Powerful has done great things for me, and his name is holy. 50 He always shows mercy to everyone who worships him. 51 The Lord has used his powerful arm to scatter those who are proud. 52 He drags strong rulers from their thrones and puts humble people in places of power. 53 God gives the hungry good things to eat, and sends the rich away with nothing. 54 He helps his servant Israel and is always merciful to his people. 55 The Lord made this promise to our ancestors, to Abraham and his family forever!
56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months. Then she went back home.
(For the music leader. To the tune “Don’t Destroy.”[a] A special psalm by David when he was in the cave while running from Saul.)
Praise and Trust in Times of Trouble
57 God Most High, have pity on me! Have mercy. I run to you for safety. In the shadow of your wings, I seek protection till danger dies down. 2 I pray to you, my protector. 3 You will send help from heaven and save me, but you will bring trouble on my attackers. You are faithful, and you can be trusted.
4 I live among lions, who gobble down people! They have spears and arrows instead of teeth, and they have sharp swords instead of tongues.
5 May you, my God, be honored above the heavens; may your glory be seen everywhere on earth.
6 Enemies set traps for my feet and struck me down. They dug a pit in my path, but fell in it themselves. 7 I am faithful to you, and you can trust me. I will sing and play music for you, my God. 8 I feel wide awake! I will wake up my harp and wake up the sun. 9 I will praise you, Lord, for everyone to hear, and I will sing hymns to you in every nation. 10 Your love reaches higher than the heavens; your loyalty extends beyond the clouds.
11 May you, my God, be honored above the heavens; may your glory be seen everywhere on earth.
Psalm 57; 58Don’t Destroy: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
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