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 what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!’

Luke 1:39-45

Cyril of Alexandria argued against Nestorius that Mary was properly called theotokos- mother of God, God-bearer- rather than ‘Christ-bearer’.  Mary’s cousin Elizabeth, and Jesus’ unborn cousin John, are without hesitation: the Holy Spirit has brought to know that the baby in Mary’s womb is not just a special child, a chosen vessel, an exalted man.  The tiny cluster of cells is the LORD of Israel, the divine Messiah, the Son of the Most High.

If we join Nestorius in shrinking back from calling Mary theotokos we join him in wrenching Jesus of Nazareth out of the eternal fellowship of the Trinity.  He is no more than a specially anointed Messiah: not a divine one.  Yet Elizabeth warns us against this, and the scriptures require us to confess the divinity of the foetus in Mary’s womb.