Advent Devotion - Day 26


December 22, 2022

Join us through this special time of Advent as we dive deeper into the Word of God. Each day, we will pray and reflect on a different passage from Scripture. Daily Readings are from the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, and reflections are written by our church staff.

Opening Prayer:

Alone with none but thee, my God,
I journey on my way.
What need I fear, when thou art near O king of night and day?
More safe am I within thy hand
Than if a host did round me stand.

(Columba, c.521 - 597)

Scripture Reading:

Luke 1:46-55 NRSV

46 And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47  and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked with favor on the lowly state of his servant.
  Surely from now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
  and holy is his name;
50 indeed, his mercy is for those who fear him
  from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
  he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones
  and lifted up the lowly;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things
  and sent the rich away empty.
54 He has come to the aid of his child Israel,
  in remembrance of his mercy,
55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
  to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”


In the passage above, we read Mary's Song of Praise, known as Magnificat, Latin for the first word in the song: "magnify." Mary sings this song after her relative Elizabeth (who is also miraculously pregnant with John the Baptist) greets her and calls her “blessed.”

One thing I particularly like about the Bible is that there are often surprising (to me) reactions to difficult situations. This is a perfect example of that. It would take a lot of faith on Mary's part to rejoice and feel blessed when her circumstances were less than ideal.
Peter Slofstra writes, “Her fiancé was thinking divorce. Her family was thinking disown. Her community was thinking stone. Her situation could not have been more difficult. Her status could not have been humbler. An ordinary teenage girl—no resumé, no royal lineage, no special skills. A teenage girl sent away to live with a relative in another city like so many pregnant teens. How could she say, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God [my Savior]?”

The answer to Mary’s surprising reaction can be found in the words of her song. First, she believed God would do what He promised to do. God had promised Abraham, his descendants, and the world that a Messiah would come to save them. Mary believed that promise. She trusted God. Second, she knew and named God as “Savior.” Not just her personal Savior but the Savior of her people and, through them, the world. Finally, she recognized that God looked at her with favor. The same God that created the world also knew her by name and cared about her. She had come to realize that God loved her.
Malachi 3:6 and Hebrews 13:8 declare that God is always the same and will never change. That means the same truths Mary was singing about and giving God praise for in our text today are also true for us. God fulfills His promises to us; the Bible is full of them. God is trustworthy; you can believe His Holy Word and stand on its truth. And God knows us and loves us. How could we not overflow with joy when we realize that we are loved and seen by the true and living God?

Daily Challenge:

How have you experienced God’s love and faithfulness to you in your lifetime? Take a moment today to enter the presence of God and ask the Holy Spirit to bring to mind some of these moments. Give God praise and thanks for His goodness and faithfulness to you. You can also rejoice and celebrate (or even sing!), knowing that God never changes and that his love and fidelity toward You and all His children will continue forever.
Today's reflection is written by:
Jessica King

Director of Connections
Church of the Servant
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