As we start the fourth week of Advent, I hope you’ll join me in praying through part of today’s Advent Gospel reading from the Book of Common Prayer.
46 And Mary said:Luke 1:46-55
“My soul glorifies the Lord
47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”
Holy Father, God of Israel, as we draw ever closer to celebrating the birth of Jesus, our Lord and Savior, we join Mary in marveling at the promised coming of our Messiah. She celebrated His first appearing and so do we. But we also have the joy of looking forward in hope to His second coming and the ultimate arrival of Your kingdom. We live in a world that Your kingdom has broken into but also in a world that awaits its ultimate fulfillment. We live in the “already,” but “not yet.” In that place, we glorify and praise You for Your marvelous gift. You sent Jesus to teach us Your ways and deliver us from the power of sin. Help each of us to realize our truly humble state. We are a people that need Your work and Your deliverance. We are a people in need of Your mercy. Create in us an awe and reverence for You that results in lives that reveal who You are to the world around us. You have worked in the lives of Your people, delivering them from oppression and from proud rulers who refuse to acknowledge You. And You will do that again. You will humble the proud and lift up the humble. We ask that You will root out any pride in Your people. Create in us hearts that seek and serve You in all that we do. As You fill the hungry and send the rich away empty, show us how to reflect Your mercy. Help us to meet each person in their time of need with Your love. May we desire Your reign above all else, acting as instruments of Your love, mercy, and justice through the power of Your Holy Spirit. Thank You that You remember and deliver Your people. Thank you for Your mercy and faithfulness. In the name of our risen and coming Savior, may we joyfully celebrate His birth and eagerly look forward to His return. Amen.
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The image is by Jennifer Brown Jones.
© 2019, 2020, 2021 Jennifer Brown Jones