- Micah 5:2-5a
- Luke 1:46b-55
- Hebrews 10:5-10
- Luke 1:39-45
Prayer of the Day
Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come. With your abundant grace and might, free us from the sin that binds us, that we may receive you in joy and serve you always, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
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Blessed Is She Who Believed (Luke 1:49-55)
A Meditation on Mary
- Luke 1:42
O Mary, you are blessed. You have a gracious God. No woman has ever lived on earth to whom God has shown such grace. You are the crown among them all.
- Martin Luther
We honor Mary because God honored her.
We honor Mary because good children honor their parents, and Jesus, Mary’s Child, honored and respected his Mother. How can we, who are children of God by faith in Jesus, do less? Who can plumb the depths of feeling in a child’s heart for a dear mother? With all affection, we, the adopted daughters and sons of God, gaze at the Mother of our Lord and call her blessed.
We honor Mary, for through her God brought an end to the bitterness of his people.
The Hebrew form of her name is “Miriam,” which means “bitter myrrh.” Does her name reflect her family’s circumstances or those surrounding her own birth? Or does it reflect the bitter exile of her people, their bondage under foreign domination, the dashed hopes of God’s Kingdom long awaited and nowhere in sight? Is her name evidence of her family’s faith, a lament crying out to God for his gracious intervention?
O blessed Mary, who brought joy to all people, we honor you for enduring the bitter pain of birth. You who represent the exiled people of Israel, we bless you, who found no room among human company in which to bear your holy Child.
It is likely that Mary was a young woman, perhaps thirteen to fifteen years old. Engaged to be married, she found herself to be with child. How difficult for us to grasp the shame and fear this must have caused her! The embarrassment to her family! Did she hide away? Did she shed tears when the neighbors talked? How comforting the kind gentleness of Joseph must have been to her!
We honor you, Mary, for enduring disgrace that we might know the freedom of forgiveness.
She was a humble maiden from a small town. Can anything good come from Nazareth? Few would have expected she would ever achieve recognition or honor. God did not choose a daughter of wealth and privilege with promising prospects, but a lowly girl from a rustic village. And so his grace is magnified in Mary.
Blessings and laud to you, dear Mary. Beyond all expectation, God has lifted you up. Surely he has looked with favor on your lowliness! Surely, all generations will call you blessed! Surely in mercy he has set aside the powerful and rich in favor of the poor and needy. You represent all who have nothing to offer, who can only receive, who must be fed or go hungry.
Mary received a word from God that was incredible — she, a virgin girl, would bear a Son. With trembling heart she heard the angel’s message. In faith, she received that word: “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” And thus we learn that our Mother is a person of faith, and at her knee we learn to trust God’s promises.
We honor and bless you Mary, for leading us to salvation by grace through faith. We will enter heaven by trusting in the Child you bore. You have brought us the greatest gift of all, the treasure that all loving mothers give to their children — the gift of Life.
Blessed are you: Mother of our Lord, greatest of the Mothers of Israel, Mother of all who believe. Your children bless you!