Read Luke 1:39-55

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

And Mary said, “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 descendants forever.”


from Rev. Jayne Chafin

First Christian Church, Ravenswood

Over the years, I have come to appreciate the various songs and hymns of the season that talk about Mary, the mother of Jesus. Songs that ponder the thoughts of Mary: what she was going through, what she felt, what she knew. One of them, Breath of Heaven, with its haunting melody, always touches my heart. Mary sings, “I wonder what I’ve done. I am waiting in silent prayer. I am frightened by the load I bear.” And then I read the words of this Magnificat once again. What a contrast! Joy and celebration abound. Blessed among women, indeed!

Many of us will go through a variety of emotions this Advent season. Preparing our homes, our hearts, missing loved ones, anticipating arrival of those we haven’t seen for awhile. Wide-ranging, heart-felt. I hope that in this season we will take time to celebrate with Mary as well as ponder with her the future of her son, our Christ.

For all that I experience in this season of waiting,

lead me toward magnifying you, O God my Savior. Amen.