SLuke 1:47-55 (NRSV)
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
“Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the mighty one has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
“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 powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.
“He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his his descendants forever.”
One cannot escape the prophetic vision in the season of Advent. We see it in the selections from the Old Testament, and we encounter it in Mary’s Song of Rejoicing. In this birth, God is intent on changing the priorities of the world:
. . God looks with favor upon the lowly
. . . God scatters the proud in the imaginations of their hearts
. . . . God brings the powerful down from their thrones
. . . . . God sends the rich away empty.
Where do our lives encounter this prophetic vision?
. . Are we lowly servants upon who God looks with favor?
. . . Does our pride sometimes interfere with what God seeks to accomplish through us?
. . . . Do we sometimes let our need for power and control interfere with God’s work?
. . . . . Are we sometimes rich in things and poor in soul?
As the time of the Lord’s coming draws near, let us test and examine our ways and return to the Lord, so that Love may have a place to dwell.
Candle Lighting Liturgy
The Mighty One has done great things! Holy is God’s Name! The Light of the World is coming.
With Mary, our spirits rejoice in God our Savior.
[Here relight the first three candles]
God’s mercy endures from generation to generation for those who are in awe of God.
The proud, the rich, the mighty no longer have power over us.
The lowly are lifted up, and the hungry are satisfied.
We see the light of God shining over the land.
We light a fourth candle in anticipation of the wondrous birth.
[Here light the fourth candle.]
We will open our hearts that Love may have a place to dwell.
- “My Soul Gives Glory to My God,” Stanza 1, 198, The United Methodist Hymnal
- “Carol of the Epiphany,” Stanzas 4 & 5, 2094, The Faith We Sing
- “The Source of Hope”