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December 17 | Luke 1:46-56


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


Mary's Song

by Elaine Pierce


Imagine for a moment what it must have been like to be Mary. You're a young teenager, a faithful Jewish girl, and you're betrothed to Joseph the carpenter. You're excited about your approaching marriage. Out of the blue (it had to be almost an out-of-body experience), an angel visits you. The angel tells you that you will give birth to the son of God. You, a no one! You live in a backwater town, Nazareth. You're not wealthy or famous - far from it. And yet, God has chosen you to bear his son.

Luke tells us that Mary was "greatly troubled" by the angel's words, and she asked him how on earth she would have this baby, since she was a virgin? He tells her that the Holy Spirit will come upon her. Shortly after she has this incredible experience, she visits her cousin, Elizabeth, and Elizabeth, through the power of the Holy Spirit, recognizes that Mary is pregnant with the Lord. She joyfully embraces Mary, and Mary's response is recorded in verses 46-55 which we're reading today.


Yes, Mary was a poor teenager girl living in a sleepy village. Yet God used her to bring his son into the world as a baby. Doesn't God so often use the unexpected to fulfill his purposes? Mary recognizes that God is using her in marvelous ways, and she sings his praises:


"My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior." (v. 46-47)


"Holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation." (v. 50)


And what does she praise God for in her song? He performs mighty deeds (v. 51); He brings down rulers and lifts up the humble (v. 52); and he fills the hungry with good things and sends the rich away empty (v. 53).


Our God delights in mercy, in kindness, in forgiveness. He longs for us to follow him. As you go through the Advent season, this time of waiting for his birth, take time to look for the unexpected mercies, the surprising joy, the gentle whisper of his love and his goodness. He will surprise you with blessings beyond imagining, but you will need to stop, to listen, and to watch for his presence. He will meet you in ways that will surprise and delight you, just as he did with Mary, with Elizabeth, and will all the saints who have gone before us and with those we see every day. Thanks be to God for his incredible love and mercy.


PRAYER

Lord, help me each day to sit at your feet and spend time with you. Thank you for Mary, who quietly served you rejoiced in your love. You have performed mighty deeds and you will draw near to me as I draw near to you. Amen.






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