Luke 1:39-80

Did you ever think that God’s blessing could be a burden? Imagine being a young lady who is engaged, not yet living with her future husband, but suddenly is pregnant in the midst of very conservative and religious culture. Or perhaps you are an older lady who has given up on having a child, only to find yourself pregnant, in need of help, and with a husband who suddenly can’t talk!

The two women end up helping each other. Mary is able to get away from an uncomfortable situation for a time, and she is there to help the older Elizabeth deal with her pregnancy. When Mary arrives the Spirit speaks through Elizabeth, and Elizabeth gives Mary the understanding and acceptance she needs. Mary herself has not only accepted but embraced her condition, and she sees it as an incredible blessing! She reflects on this blessing in a song of thanksgiving. Her song reminds us of how much we have been blessed by God and how much we have to be thankful for! God:

  • Saves us (47)
  • Takes care of us (48)
  • Is merciful (50)
  • Is faithful (54-55)

He can do all this because he is powerful (51-53), and mighty (49). Amazingly, His power is often displayed by exalting the humble and bringing down the mighty. We see this in salvation too:

1 Corinthians 1:18-25 “For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will thwart the cleverness of the intelligent.’ Where is the wise man? Where is the expert in the Mosaic law? Where is the debater of this age? Has God not made the wisdom of the world foolish? For since in the wisdom of God the world by its wisdom did not know God, God was pleased to save those who believe by the foolishness of preaching. For Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks ask for wisdom, but we preach about a crucified Christ, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles. But to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.”

Zachariah initially doubted that God could do what the angel said, and ended up paying a price for it. He regains his voice after the baby is born, presumably because of his obedience regarding the name of his son. With his voice restored, he is filled with the Spirit, and gives us his own song of thanksgiving that reveals the nature of salvation:

  • God visits and redeems His people (68-70)
  • He saves us from our enemies, which we recognize as sin, death, hell, and Satan (71)
  • He fulfills His ancient promises (72-73)
  • He rescues us and we serve Him without fear (74-75)
  • He forgives our sins (77)
  • He shines light in the darkness (78-79)
  • He guides us to a life of peace (79)

These songs of praise are called The Magnificat and The Benedictus, and have inspired musical compositions through the ages.

For worship:

One thought on “Devotional Reading for March 19, 2022

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