Advent Devotional: Week Three - Monday
Scripture Reading: Luke 1:46-55 46
And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.
Mary stands in an illustrious line of biblical women who have praised the Lord in song. Miriam was the first, who after the destruction of Pharaoh’s army and the crossing of the Red Sea recounted in song the heroic event (Exodus 15). Deborah rejoiced in the Lord’s power to free his people from oppression (Judges 5). Hannah praised the Lord in song when the Lord bestowed his gift of a child upon her (1 Sam 2:1-10). These images of victory and blessing are intertwined beautifully in Mary’s song, which is known as the "Magnificat.”
Mary’s song borrows much in inspiration from the song of Hannah in 1 Samuel 2. In this time of God’s bewildering presence, Mary sought refuge and hope in the words of Scripture. Her song mirrors the Psalms in many ways. Read through Psalm 113 together this week and allow it to shape your words and heart of praise. And then consider again Mary’s song. What does her song tell you about God? In what ways can her words find an echo in your praise?
Prayer: Dear Father, when we meditate on these words, we share in the feelings of Mary’s own unworthiness for your love and grace in our lives. Father, give us true humility and hunger for your Son’s praise.
Advent Singing: Angels from the Realms of Glory
Angels from the realms of glory, wing your flight o'er all the earth; ye who sang creation's story now proclaim Messiah's birth:
Refrain: Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ, the newborn king.
Shepherds, in the field abiding, watching o'er your flocks by night, God with us is now residing; yonder shines the infant light:
Sages, leave your contemplations, brighter visions beam afar; seek the great Desire of nations;
ye have seen his natal star: