Advent devotion – December 20, 2009

Scripture – Luke 1:46–55

It’s no wonder Jesus grew up to be something of a revolutionary. Listen to the song he learned at his mother’s knee: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior . . . [who] has scattered the proud and brought down the powerful. Lifted up the lowly. Filled the hungry with good things. And sent the rich away empty” (Luke 1:46–47, 51–53). Mary’s “Magnificat” is an ancient protest anthem; I like to think of it as the “radical mama’s lullaby,” smuggled down through the centuries from Hannah (1 Sam. 2:1–10) to the mother of Jesus. It is a hymn of prophetic hope, announcing that the long-awaited deliverance of the poor, the oppressed, and the hungry is at last at hand.

Each Advent season, with Mary and Hannah before her, we reprise this great refrain, giving thanks that the God of justice, compassion, and love has come to dwell among us in Jesus Christ. We pour out our prayers for peace to the very God who is giving birth to a glorious new creation—where the poor are satisfied, the captives are liberated, the humble are exalted, and there is life in abundance for all. In this season of longing and waiting, perhaps the most valuable and lasting gift that we can give our children is to teach them songs of radical hope, justice, and peace—God’s ancient promise, even now being born anew.

Holy God, merciful and mighty, give us the strength of love, the courage of tenderness, and the power of peace, so that we may join the whole creation in your ancient song of endless life; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

The Rev. David Gambrell
associate for worship
Theology, Worship and Education
General Assembly Mission Council, PC(USA)
Louisville, Kentucky

Order Proclaiming the Good News of God’s Peace.

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)