The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children. Psalm 103:8-17. NIV
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, even as he said to our fathers.” Luke 1:46-55 NIV
How is worship present in the Advent story? How do we worship fully in this season? These are good questions to ask ourselves during Advent. I view Mary’s song as pure worship – it is praise for God and thankfulness for all he has done for her and for his people. Let’s look at it and glean ways we can worship as well.
Mary clearly acknowledges all that God has done for her personally. Worship is glorifying God: for who he is, for what he has done, and for what he will do in the future. Jesus’ mother – a young woman -newly pregnant, expresses the joy in her soul and her spirit because of God’s plan for salvation and for including her in it. She is humble, she is thankful, and she gives God praise. She understands God’s mercy and compassion for his people and praises God for it. Her wording is similar to Psalm 103:13, “As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.” Perhaps she was familiar with this Psalm, as she says God’s “mercy extends to those who fear him,” Luke 1:50.
Mary praises God for remembering his promises to Abraham and to his descendants, and for fulfilling those promises. Her faith and trust in God is astounding and convicting. May we all strive to worship God with this kind of faith. She is newly pregnant, she has many months before she will hold her baby, God’s savior, in her arms. She has many years before the entire plan for salvation is made clear to her. But her worship of God is pure praise for his mighty acts, for his lifting up of the humble, for the feeding of the hungry.
As we enter this season of Advent and we read the daily scriptures in the Advent Conspiracy, ask these questions of yourself. How do each of the people in the Advent story worship God? Who is the center of the story? How can I worship fully in this Advent season?
By Grace Hunter
During the season of Advent, South Fellowship is engaging with the themes of Advent Conspiracy: investigating how we worship fully, spend less, give more, and love all in anticipation of Christmas. We will only be posting the Daily on Mondays during this season, but if you would like a special Advent resource, or would like to engage more with the Advent Conspiracy themes you can check out the Advent Conspiracy devotional here.