Wednesday December 21, 2022
Today is Wednesday, December 21 and this week will conclude our journey through the Advent season as we hear Jesus as the theme of Mary’s song.
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.” Luke 1:46-55
Advent is a season of descent toward the humble stable where a new family is born at the birth of the King of kings and Lord of lords– pointing to our larger family that transcends time and space as the people of the Covenant-Keeping God, the Lord who keeps his promises to a thousand generations (Ps. 105:8).
Before Jesus’ birth, Mary receives word from the angel that she is with child by the Holy Spirit and after seeing her cousin Elizabeth, she is filled with a song of vibrant worship. We call that song, “The Magnificat” (Latin for “my soul magnifies”). We reflect on some of the lyrics of Mary’s powerful song:
“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
Mary is informing her spirit, her mind, and anyone who would listen, what the activity is going on within her. She is in a state of utter rejoicing of what God has done.
“His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.”
Mary is aware of the fact that what happens in one generation has implications for the next. We, too, know that our sowing today will reap a harvest we may never see. In this truth we both trust and celebrate.
“He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.”
Mary knows the humble heart is humble in one’s inmost thoughts and not just in outward expression. We can ask the Lord to make us humble like Christ!
“He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.”
Mary had the end in mind. The kingdoms of this world are becoming the kingdoms of our Lord. We can and must see where this is all going.
“He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.”
Mary knew her son would be the source of food and drink for humanity and she knew the already-satisfied would choose lesser sustenance. We can bring our hunger, our thirst, to Jesus– and be filled. (John 4:10)
“He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”
Mary knew the covenant story of Israel was being fulfilled in the life of her son. She felt the mercy of God at play for her people through the incarnation. We can see ourselves in that long, covenant relationship that reaches deep into the roots of the story of Israel.
With Mary, let’s magnify the Lord together this Advent and Christmas season!
If you were to write a song of worship right now, what words would you use to describe the Lord? Why?
Breathe in: Our souls magnify you, Lord.
Breathe out: Our spirits rejoice in you, Jesus.
Songs of the Season
Listen and sing along with us to songs that will shape our Advent season. Today we will sing “Mary’s Song (Our King of Peace)” by Page CXVI which you can find here. Subscribe to our Spotify playlist featuring all of our Songs for the Season here.
First 15 through the season of Advent is adapted from Roots: Advent and the Family Story of Jesus available through Seedbed. If you or your small group are interested in using this resource for your Advent study, you can find more information here or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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