Advent readings are something we do each year.
It is a devotional that is created by members of our congregation and read each Sunday during the advent season.
Luke 1:30-33; 38
And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”…And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”
“He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” These were the words of the Lord to Mary, but they spoke of a reality she could not see.
She was called to bear the Son of the Most High, but she was called into poverty, into suffering and loss. As a poor outsider in Bethlehem, she had to lay her newborn son in an animal feeding trough. She fled to Egypt as a refugee to save her child’s life.
Mary was newly pregnant with the Savior when Elizabeth met her and said, “Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
How did Mary believe what she could not see? She endured a life of suffering and waiting because she saw herself as the servant of the Lord. “Let it be to me according to your word.” This was her response to God; not just one time, but all her life.
When her son was called a drunkard and a glutton, a friend of sinners, demon-possessed; when she found herself on the outskirts of the crowds around him; when she watched him dying on the cross—she must have asked, Is this the way, Lord? Is this the way you will work salvation?
“Let it be to me according to your word. Let it be to your people according to your word!”
We likewise have received his promises but are waiting to see the final fulfillment of his salvation. We too are called to follow Christ in a life of suffering and waiting.
Mary came before the Lord as a servant, waiting, trusting him to provide. She received the blessing of his presence as a gift to the poor. Let us ask him to give us the same faith this Advent.
To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens.
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he has mercy upon us. (Psalm 123:1-2)
He who is mighty has done great things for us.
Lord, when we were dead in our sins, you looked upon us to give us life. We are weak and needy, yet you do not turn away, but draw near to show us compassion.
In this season of feasting, let us come to you hungry.
Let us hunger for you.
In this season of wealth and consumption, let us be poor in spirit, longing for you.
Let us wait for you.
In these days of hurry and anxiety, let us enter your rest.
Let us see you, Christ. We long to see your salvation.
Let us wait in hope and rejoice in sufferings. Let it be to us, your people, according to your word. You have delivered us from darkness and brought us into your presence.
Unto you is the kingdom and the glory, forever and ever!