Day 276 | Sunday, 20 December 2020
The assigned Scripture readings for this the fourth Sunday in Advent are: 2 Samuel 7:1-11; Luke 1:47-55; Romans 16:25-27 and Luke 1:26-38.
The gospel readings focus on Mary and the foretelling of Jesus’ birth, her visit to Elizabeth and her song of praise to God. Let me share Luke 1:46-55 Mary Praises God.
Luke 1:46-55 Mary praises God
46 Mary said, “With all my heart I glorify the Lord!
47 In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my savior.
48 He has looked with favor on the low status of his servant.
Look! From now on, everyone will consider me highly favored
49 because the mighty one has done great things for me.
Holy is his name.
50 He shows mercy to everyone,
from one generation to the next,
who honors him as God.
51 He has shown strength with his arm.
He has scattered those with arrogant thoughts and proud inclinations.
52 He has pulled the powerful down from their thrones
and lifted up the lowly.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty-handed.
54 He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,
remembering his mercy,
55 just as he promised to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to Abraham’s descendants forever.”
There is a hymn that may not be as familiar as some of the Advent hymns titled “Ye Who Claim the Faith of Jesus” words stanzas 1-3 by Vincent Stucky Stratton Coles; stanza 4 by F. Bland Tucker, 1982. (Luke 1:26-55)
1. “Ye who claim the faith of Jesus, sing the wonders that were done when the love of God the Father over sin the victory won, when he made the Virgin Mary mother of his only Son.”
2. “Blessed were the chosen people out of whom the Lord did come; blessed was the land of promise fashioned for his earthly home; but more blessed far the mother, she who bore him in her womb.”
3. “Therefore let all faithful people sing the honor of her name; let the church, in her foreshadowed, part in her thanksgiving claim; what Christ’s mother sang in gladness let Christ people sing the same:”
4. “Magnify, my soul, God’s greatness; in my Savior I rejoice; all the ages call me blessed, in his praise I lift my voice; he has cast down all the mighty, and the lowly are his choice.”
“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.’” Luke 1:41-42
“The Love in this scripture is more than the love of a mother for her child. It’s the love of God who would come to dwell among us, demonstrating God’s great love for us.”
“Each time you see a child this week, pray that love would be made real in action.”
“God of Love. Continue to take on flesh and be made real in our families, in our communities, and in the world. Amen”
From the Upper Room – Nov./Dec. page 42