Luke 1:39-55 39 Mary got up and hurried to a city in the Judean highlands. 40 She entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 With a loud voice she blurted out, “God has blessed you above all women, and he has blessed the child you carry. 43 Why do I have this honor, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. 45 Happy is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill the promises he made to her.”
46 Mary said,
“With all my heart I glorify the Lord! 47 In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my savior.
48 He has looked with favor on the low status of his servant. Look! From now on, everyone will consider me highly favored 49 because the mighty one has done great things for me. Holy is his name.
50 He shows mercy to everyone, from one generation to the next, who honors him as God.
51He has shown strength with his arm. He has scattered those with arrogant thoughts and proud inclinations.
52 He has pulled the powerful down from their thrones and lifted up the lowly.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty-handed.
54 He has come to the aid of his servant Israel, remembering his mercy,
55 just as he promised to our ancestors, to Abraham and to Abraham’s descendants forever".
In the time of Jesus women were second-or third class citizens. In this story we find Mary pregnant, without a husband needing her cousins support and joyfulness as she journeyed what would have taken 8-10 days. As Mary sang the song above how God lifts up the lowly, she was a living example of that. She exalted in God's reversal of human values. "he has pulled the powerful down from their thrones and lifted up the lowly." Verse 52. Even before the birth God was turning things around to see His love and how He valued her, no matter what her social status was.
From the moment Jesus was conceived He changed the lives of those who chose to call Him Lord. Elizabeth was the first and then throughout the gospels it said women were the first witnesses proclaiming Jesus's resurrection. As I read the passage above it brought questions to my mind: How does me calling Jesus "Lord" mean giving up the right to live my life any way I please? In what ways has Jesus' lordship changed my life, brining with it joy, hope ,peace and a deeper knowledge of love.
I believe Mary knew that the King she bore would change realities that had always seemed to rule the day. As we prepare for the coming of our King how willing are you to join in Mary's and those who call Him Lord joy and commitment to God's purpose to lift up the lowly; to fill the hungry with good things? Let this Advent season be a time of change and let us be a people of compassion.
Lord God, A simple girl is used to change the world through Your Son. She reminds me Father, that I have, as all do, a purpose and You will lift us up. Lord, I pray for my family at this time. I give you thanks for the blessings I have all around me and I ask that I continue to see these blessings during every moment of my life. Father, I have chosen to call you Lord of my Lord. Lift me up and carry me through. Forgive me my sins this day I pray. Lord, I pray and ask all things in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Meet the pastor
Rev. Pastor Carl Schreiber has been serving East Orrington Congregational Church (EOCC) since March 12, 2006