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Luke 1:39-56

At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”

And Mary said:

“My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”
Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.


When Mary heard the news that she was going to have a baby she travelled to Judah to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who was also having a baby - John the Baptist. When Mary entered Elizabeth’s house the bible says the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leapt for joy and she was filled with the Holy Spirit. Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about 3 months, presumably helping her in the run up to the birth of John the Baptist.

As we approach Christmas, Love Your Neighbour is packing and delivering 1500 Love Christmas bags to people around Crawley. As Mary did with Elizabeth, we hope that these bags will share the joy of the news of the birth of Jesus and bless people who need it at this time.

Please join us as we pray for each person who will receive a Love Christmas bag this Christmas.

Let’s pray:
‘Loving God, thank you for the good news of the birth of Jesus. We pray that as Mary shared that joy with Elizabeth, and she was filled with the Holy Spirit, that each person who receives a Love Christmas bag will know something of the joy found in you and know your Holy Spirit with them. We pray for you to bless the bags, those who pack them, deliver them and those who receive them. Amen.’