In 2 Samuel 6 we read about David bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. David asks, “How can the ark of the Lord come into my care?” David asked the question out of fear, because the Ark had proven to be dangerous. Later, when the Ark was shown to be safe, David welcomes it into Jerusalem with joy, “leaping and dancing before the Lord.” (2 Samuel 6:16)
There is little doubt that Luke had these verses in mind when he tells us about Elizabeth welcoming Mary. But unlike David’s response to the Ark, Elizabeth feels no fear when she sees Mary, only intense joy. Elizabeth welcomes Mary, asking, “And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me?” (Luke 1:43) Not only Elizabeth but her unborn child receive the Holy Spirit, and he leaps for joy. Mary is the new Ark of the Covenant who brings the presence of the Lord into Elizabeth’s home.
Elizabeth continues to bless Mary, “And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.” (Luke 1:45) Elizabeth recognizes that Mary has given herself totally to the Lord in faith. From the time of her saying, “Yes” to bearing the child, to witnessing Jesus’ death on the cross, Mary’s faith never wavered.
Mary is the first and greatest disciple, a model of faith for all Christians. Today, Mary continues her work of interceding for us so we may experience a deepening sense of the presence of Jesus Christ.