Introduction: For hundreds of years many Christian traditions have read passages of scripture using a tool called a lectionary. This Advent season our devotional team decided to resource you with selections from the Revised Common Lectionary. You will encounter texts from the Psalms, the Prophets, and the New Testament as well as formal prayers. Each text has been selected to build anticipation for the coming of Christ – the Light of the World – amid the dark, cold days of winter. Reflect on the first coming of Christ while yearning for his second coming.

Note. If you desire to read these passages in a different version of the Bible, this link will provide all the readings for week 4 in Bible Gateway where you may also choose other versions of these passages.)

Luke 1:46-55

“And Mary said:

“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me — holy is his name.

His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.” 

Source: Year B – Advent : Revised Common Lectionary

Unfathomable Joy

I could probably write 10,001 words about what is happening here and still have words left over. Let me leave it at this. Mary is a “newbie” mom, and a mom literally like no other. She travels to visit Elizabeth, and her mind is likely “all over everywhere”: Happiness. Fear. And a million others. Is this even real?

And then arriving at Elizabeth’s home, the baby John leaps in the womb, and Elizabeth explodes with joy at Mary and her baby’s presence. There are no more questions. This is real. The burden of uncertainty is lifted. Mary is filled with a joy beyond measure. The result is today’s passage, and Mary’s soliloquy. As we move beyond Christmas, claim that same joy for yourself.  Jesus IS real!!