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December 20th

Day 20

Luke 1:46-56

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.  
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 for ever.'
And Mary remained with her for about three months and then returned to her home.

The Magnificat 

Luke opens a window here on the personality of Mary, a young woman of humility, obedience and an inner strength. The song, which we ascribe to her and which we know as the 'Magnificat' reflects on previous scriptures and is a reminder of the way in which God turns things upside down. It is not the rich and powerful whom God choses but 'lifts up the lowly and has filled the hungry with good things' v 53. Mary recognizes and rejoices in the fact that she has been chosen by God. Do we, in the world today, tend to get our priorities upside down, seeking status, wealth and prosperity? The prophet Micah reminds us that 'what the Lord requires of us is to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with our God' Micah 6 v 8. Perhaps now is a good time to reflect on how God wants us to proceed. Where is God leading us and what are we called to be and do, not just as individuals but as God's church in the future?   

Prayer

God of grace and magnificence, you have been our refuge throughout generations. You lift us up
when we are low. You give us hope when we are in despair. You are merciful and forgiving when
we go astray. Help us to follow the way that you have chosen for us.   Amen

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