Escalon Covenant Church
/* Style Definitions */
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
began the third week of Advent! This
week’s theme is joy. Fitting that the
theme is joy, since we now cross the halfway marker of Advent. The celebration of Christmas is just around
the corner. Ironically, this month (and
next) typically set the record for the year in terms of prescriptions for
medicines treating depression, anxiety, and sleeplessness (and I don’t mean
children on Christmas Eve!). All
evidence seems to indicate we have forgotten about the joy of the season.
is the joy of this season? It all
started in the heart of a girl willing to believe the message from the angel.
46 And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord 47
and 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, 49
for 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, even as he said to our fathers.”
This passage is known as
“Mary’s Song of Praise” or the Magnificat. Have you ever stopped and imagined the
situation she was in when she was declaring/singing this?
Strong possibility of her
engagement (to use our terms) being canceled (divorce in their way of thinking).
Could even be stoned (and I
don’t mean Egg Nog…).
Yet, in spite of all that…“My soul
glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior” (verses 46-47). I guess it’s really true: Mary really was the
first one to carry the Gospel! She
understood the Good News of Jesus in her womb long before He was ever born.
She rejoiced in the
goodness of God. Look at why…
- He is merciful to those who
revere Him (verse 50).
- He has performed miracles
- He has humbled the proud
- He has filled the poor in spirit (verse 53).
- He has kept His word of
promise (verse 54-55).
So…are you joyful on this third week of
Advent? Look over that list again and
personalize it: list ways God has been merciful to you and ways you have
revered Him. What miracles has He
performed for you? (I can’t look into
the eyes of our daughter and son and not see the miracles He has performed!) How has He humbled you or how has He brought
you peace? Has He
ever filled your spirit? When was the last
time you counted your blessings?
O Holy Father in Heaven, forgive us for not being
joyful here in the shadow of the ultimate miracle of Christmas: the
incarnation. Give us the eyes to see
your mercy, miracles, corrective hand, filling of our spirits, and your
promises. May we, like Mary, magnify
You, O Lord of all Joy!
Be joyful on this third
week of Advent, my friends. May God
bless you with the joy found only in Him this season.
Suggestions for reading and
meditation through this week:
- Isaiah 35:1-10
- Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
- Psalm 100
- Zephaniah 3:14-20
- John 1:29-34
- Philippians 4:4-7
- Song: “How Great Our Joy” (Point
of Grace has a wonderful version of this hymn)
- Song: “Joy to the World”
- Song: “Good News” (As
performed by group “Avalon”)