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Thursday, December 22, 2022

Luke 1:46 - 56

Be Like Mary

My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. (Luke 1:46)

Mary’s song, the Magnificat, focuses on God’s great works, especially his tendency to turn everything upside down. He “looked upon his lowly servant” when choosing a mother for the Messiah, rather than selecting a woman of prominence. The Lord “scattered the proud in their conceit,” rather than honoring them. “He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.” God’s kingdom inverts worldly structures and values.

When we read Mary’s song, we are challenged to take seriously what she said. I must confess that the “Magnificat” unsettles me. Why? Because I tend to be proud and even haughty. Because, though I’m not mighty, I am a person with authority and not necessarily all that humble. Moreover, I am certainly not hungry, and I live in the richest nation in the world, where every convenience and opportunity are at my fingertips. 

So, Mary’s song can be unsettling for me, as, indeed, it should be. It challenges me to consider my values and goals. Am I striving for the wrong things in life? How much of my life is devoted to seeking security, reputation, and power? How often do I hold on to my material blessings rather than sharing them with the poor and hungry?

The purpose of the “Magnificat” is not intended to make us feel guilty for what we have in the way of possessions or influence. Rather, it challenges us to devote our entire way of life to being, like Mary, a willing and humble servant of God. It reminds us that, like Israel, we are called to be God’s servants in the world, serving others as a reflection and extension of God’s kingdom. Mary’s song stirs in me a desire to live today for what really matters so that God might use me for his purposes and glory.

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Daily Prayer

Dear Lord, My soul proclaims your greatness, my spirit rejoices in you, my savior.  Help me each day to be your presence in the world. Assist me in choosing to do good – helping others and being less self-centered. I love you, Lord. You have done great things for me. I dedicate this day to showing you my love for you.  Amen.

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Peace be with you

Where there are loneliness and sadness, God’s peace is coming. And so, during Advent, we boldly recognize all places where our world is not peaceful. Take a moment and reflect on the reading below.

And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. Isaiah 32:17