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Luke 1:46-49 Mary sings praise to God

And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
for he has looked with favour 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.

Rejoice Walton United Church, Oakville, Ontario

With a few minor adjustments, the start of Mary’s hymn of praise to God is one we all should sing – and with fervor. Amidst the hectic bustle of the Advent season, Mary encourages us to make time to praise God and to rejoice in his love and the coming birth of Jesus, our Saviour. The ongoing love and forgiveness God offers us through the life and sacrifice of Jesus are indeed a ‘favour’ which our human lowliness can never deserve, and we are duly blessed with our faith through God’s grace. Rejoice! God is good! His love endures forever and holy is his name.

Glorious God, we rejoice in Your love and concern for us. Thank you for caring for us so deeply and completely, that all our human failings are not counted against us in Your eyes. Thank you for reaching out to us, building a relationship with us, and granting us faith. Encourage us to see Your goodness and Your glory in every day. Holy is Your name! Amen.

Thank you for joining us on this prayerful path through Advent.
Blessings and best wishes for 2019.


Luke 1:39-45 – Mary Visits Elizabeth

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

Walton United Church, Oakville, Ontario

Blessings flow in abundance through this passage: from the display of God’s love in the form of two unexpected babies, through to the Holy Spirit at work in the world. Elizabeth then blesses Mary by affirming Mary’s faith and anticipating the day when she will become the mother of our Lord. These are unique circumstances, yet the intangible blessings of this passage – faith and the power of the Holy Spirit – are there for each one of us. And they are gifts for us! They are given to us from God, and we are blessed with the ability and openness to receive them. It’s easy to take it for granted, but faith is a powerful blessing, especially in these uncertain times, and the Holy Spirit is an awe-inspiring gift, blessing our lives with its power and presence. Amen! We are blessed, living with God’s word.

Generous God, source of all our blessings, we give thanks in praise and worship for all that You have blessed us with. Through the blessing of faith, You strengthen us to meet the challenges of the day ahead, and to offer our gratitude for the goodness we encounter. Through the blessing of the Holy Spirit, You move in our world and in our lives, guiding our path and shaping our actions in Your love. Kindle within us an awareness of the blessing of Your care for each one of us. Amen.

Thank you for joining us on this prayerful path through Advent.
Blessings and best wishes for 2019.


Luke 1:38 Mary pledges to serve God

Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

HWalton United Church, Oakville, Ontario

Mary speaks with such simplicity and grace in this passage. Her words and her serenity are an unassuming and peaceful acceptance of God’s plan for her life. Her willingness to serve is all the more incredible for the magnitude of what Mary is taking on – being unmarried and pregnant. The uncomplicated ‘yes’ which Mary gives to the angel, and to God’s direction can be an inspiration to all of us, who at one time or another have given ‘yes, if only,’ or ‘maybe,’ or ‘not right now’ answers to God’s purpose in our lives. Where is God asking us to serve Him? Where might we give an uncomplicated “here am I” to an opportunity to share God’s love in the world?

Understanding God, You see all our resistance and hesitance and uncertainty; You know all our doubts and discomfort and reluctance. Inspire us, through the courage of Mary, to recognize the opportunities in front of us to share Your love and proclaim Your word. Strengthen and sustain us to be channels of Your purpose here on earth. Amen.

Thank you for joining us on this prayerful path through Advent.
Blessings and best wishes for 2019.