category: Advent

Advent Reflection: Day 22

Sunday,  December 19

Micah 5:2–5a; Luke 1:46b–55; Hebrews 10:5–10

The Magnificat is Mary’s song of praise.  She has just been informed by Gabriel that she will give birth to Jesus. She has been sent to stay with her cousin, Elizabeth, who is now pregnant with John the Baptist.  Elizabeth tells her that as Mary greeted her, John lept inside her and she knew Mary carried the Messiah. 
This song was Mary’s response.

I’ve always loved that story and the Magnificat itself. Actually, that’s not quite true. I’ve always loved pieces of it. “My soul magnifies the Lord … my spirit rejoices in God my savior… the Mighty One has done great things for me.” Those words are full of gratitude and, when I’m at my best, I can relate to and repeat them.

But, honestly, the rest of the song has always seemed out of place. Mary goes on to talk about God elevating the poor and hungry. Luke’s gospel, so far, has been pretty focused on Mary’s situation. If Mary is praising God for his work in her life, it seems off topic to start talking about what he’s doing for the hungry, doesn’t it? 

I always thought so. That is, until I realized the pieces of the Magnificat I related to were the ones that put “me” at the center. As soon as the song shifts, and asks me to consider God’s work in the broader world, I can no longer relate.

Yes, the first half of Mary’s song is personally relatable.  But gratitude for the blessings God has poured into our individual lives is only the beginning of what we can learn here. Once Mary realized she indeed carried the long-awaited savior, it suddenly dawned on her that God had kept his promises, not just to her, but to everyone. 

Let us pray that we see past our circumstances to the divine redemptive work still unfolding in the world today.

Cal Robertson

Katie Ervin
Acquisitions Librarian, Dover Memorial Library

Previous Post

Advent Reflection: Day 21

Next Post

Advent Reflection: Day 23

Related Posts

  • Post

    Family Weekend:  Making New Memories at GWU

    This past weekend Gardner-Webb University hosted its twice-annual Family Weekend. What a joy it was to see so many parents, grandparents and siblings reconnect with their GWU students for fun, food, and fellowship. Granted, our students had only just returned to campus from the Christmas break a few short weeks earlier; nevertheless, the reunions were […]

  • Post

    2023 Advent Devotion: Day 23

    Monday, December 25 Luke 1:46b-55; 1 Samuel 1:1-18; Hebrews 9:1-14 Welcome Christmas! Today we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This is a day of joy and a day of majesty. It is our day to magnify His great and holy name. Glory to God! As you conclude the 2023 Advent devotional […]

  • Post

    2023 Advent Devotion: Day 22

    Sunday, December 24 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16; Luke 1:26-38; Romans 16:25-27 During Advent our minds are oriented toward the past as we remember the birth of our Savior, and our minds are oriented toward the future as we eagerly anticipate His return. There is a rhythm of looking back and looking ahead in this season. As […]