Monday, December 21, 2015
Praise the LORD!
Praise, O servants of the LORD
Praise the name of the LORD.
For the LORD raises the poor from the dust,
and lifts the needy from the ash heap.
To make them sit with princes,
with the princes of the people.
The LORD gives the barren woman a home.
making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the LORD! (Psalm 113)
During this season of Advent we remember Mary, a young girl in whom God found favor and blessed her to become the mother of Jesus. Mary responded in the words of the Magnificat.
My soul magnifies the LORD,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for God has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed.
For the mighty one has done great things for me
and holy is his name. (Luke 1:47-49)
Psalm 113 mentions how God raises the poor from the dust and allows them to sit with princes. Perhaps this is how Mary felt. She had been something very special and unique in all of history. She had found favor with God to become the vessel by whom a small baby was born into the world to become Immanuel, God with us.
Strangely, however, Jesus’ birth was hardly noticed except by a few shepherds and
a band of astrologers from an eastern country who knew how to read the signs of
his birth in the sky. In the words of a famous Advent carol:
He comes to us as one unknown,
a breath unseen, unheard;
as though within a heart of stone
or shriveled see in darkness sown,
a pulse of being stirred.
Gradually this darkness receded. The secret became known. As it is recorded in the gospel of John, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”
May each of you have a wonderful Christmas.
Holy God, who came to us long ago in the birth of Jesus, help us to open our hearts to receive this precious gift. Amen.
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