This is the final section of a four-part series on Advent, meaning “arrival.” The Advent season celebrates the coming of a Savior in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Below is a portion of Cissie Graham Lynch’s Advent devotional, Born to You This Day. Read week 1: Christ the Conqueror, week 2: Rejoice in a Promise Fulfilled, and week 3: How Is Jesus Revealing Himself to You?
Do you ever think about how Mary must have felt after the angel Gabriel appeared to her? She was a virgin and promised in marriage, but Gabriel told her she would become pregnant and give birth to God’s Son.
We cannot imagine the fear that probably swept over her. How lonely she must have felt, and how scared she must have been to face the next day. Who would believe her? How would Joseph react? She would be a disgrace to her family. What would people do to her? How could she bear it?
God chose Mary. He chose a poor, young girl to be the mother of His Son, the Messiah. He chose the least of these to be the mother of the King of kings. Even though she was selected by God to carry out an honorable task, this announcement would bring her ridicule and much pain. It would be years before her name would ultimately be cleared and lauded. This chosen girl, however, willingly submitted to God’s plan.
We read her response to God in Luke 1:46–55, “Mary’s Song,” also known as the Magnificat.
Even in the depths of uncertainty and loneliness, Mary sang praises to God:
And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations
will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And 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 mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
—Luke 1:46–55, ESV
Mary recognized that God had a plan for her. She submitted to His authority and called out to Him, shouting and rejoicing. We, too, should sing praises to God this Advent season. We can rejoice that He sent His Son once to this earth and that He will send Him again (see John 14:3).
What other reasons do you have to sing praises to God this season?
Gracious Heavenly Father, we praise Your holy Name. Jesus, Messiah, King of kings, Lord of lords, Jehovah, Elohim, Yahweh—we lift our voices and hearts and proclaim that there is no one greater than You. God, help to soften our hearts so that we can fully receive You and hear Your voice when You call to us.
More Praise Readings for Week 4
2 Samuel 22:2–4
1 Chronicles 16:34
1 Peter 1:3–9