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Luke 1:50-56 Mary sings of God’s power

His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.

Strength - Walton United Church, Oakville, Ontario

We live in a world where strength is idolized as a supreme virtue. From politics, to business, and sadly even through to the school playground, secular society tells us we need to avoid appearing weak. Mary’s song of praise, on the one hand, shows us that this is nothing new – strength has been prized for many millennia – but at the same time, she upends our expectations. God’s strength, while initially described in conventionally physical terms, will overthrow the expected order of our world. God’s strength is a strength that lifts up and brings fulfilment to those our world scorns. Mary’s song is a call to action for those of us who would follow God’s teaching. How can we lift up the lowly and fill the hungry that we encounter in our lives? With God’s help, how can we realize this vision of redemption in our world?

Mighty God, let Your strength inspire and encourage us to see the world through Your eyes. From where we are and with what we have, empower us to make a difference. At this time of year, when the world is obsessed with having and getting, remind us that Your values are different; that You treasure the lowly and those without. Open our hearts to reject the endless quest for more and instead to love abundantly, as You love us. Amen.

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


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.