This Sunday morning brings the Fourth Sunday of Advent – even though the following day is Christmas day! Despite the calendar having pushed together this day with Christmas Eve, it is important that we engage in our full time of preparation. Please remember that this Sunday morning will feature one worship service at 10am.
The scripture will likely be familiar. Known as the Magnificat of Mary, the text is Mary’s spiritual response as she shares with her cousin—perhaps even sharing out loud for the first time—the news of her miraculous pregnancy.
46Mary said, “With all my heart I glorify the Lord! 47In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my savior. 48He has looked with favor on the low status of his servant. Look! From now on, everyone will consider me highly favored 49because the mighty one has done great things for me.
Holy is his name. 50He shows mercy to everyone, from one generation to the next, who honors him as God. 51He has shown strength with his arm. He has scattered those with arrogant thoughts and proud inclinations. 52He has pulled the powerful down from their thrones and lifted up the lowly.
53He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty-handed. 54He has come to the aid of his servant Israel, remembering his mercy, 55just as he promised to our ancestors, to Abraham and to Abraham’s descendants forever.”
Consider these questions:
- UNICEF estimates that an average of 4.3 babies are born every second of every day on this planet (source). In your observation or experience, how do you see the birth of a child affecting a family or group?
- Do these effects begin at the birth of the child? Or do they begin beforehand?
- How does this annual season of preparing for Christ affect you and/or your family? What has this 2017 Advent changed for you?