Read Psalm 113

from Rev. Andy Wade, First Christian Church, Logan

This first Psalm among the group known as the Hallels echoes both the song of Hannah and Mary’s Magnificat. The Psalm describes God as exalted, yet aware of even the least. Nothing is so low as to escape His notice. In fact, it is the lowly that become the object of His attention. God directs His gaze downward to see the destitute and deserted who sit on ash heaps begging for alms. In an act of grace and redemption, God will reverse their fortunes and bring them from the ash heap to the throne room. Women who are shamed because they are barren will be blessed with babies. God hears and sees. God answers the cries of the lowly. Praise the Lord, for there are none like Him who looks down upon us with compassion. Hannah and Mary were two women who were especially blessed by God, and both, in response to God’s gracious gift of children, dedicated their sons to the Lord. Hannah gave Samuel, Mary gave Jesus. It is through Samuel that Israel returned to God, and in Jesus that we receive our salvation. In Advent we praise God for looking down on us with compassion.

God who looks with grace upon the broken and lowly, look with favor upon us now, and bring forth your new life.