An Advent Devotion for December 21
Read Luke 1:46-56
“He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things . . . ” Luke 1:52-53a
In the least expected of places our hearts are opened to Christmas. For me, it was our annual visit to the Mission Farm in Plymouth MN which housed troubled men, who would otherwise be homeless. Every Christmas a group from my church would go there to sing carols. Eventually, we would end up in their chapel. Then Roger, with his deep bass voice, would sing “O Holy Night.” Roger’s voice would reverberate as he sang out. Each year I would listen to the power of the words and music as they flowed together into a message of hope.
“O holy night!
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!
Fall on your knees
Oh hear the angel voices
Oh night divine
Oh night when Christ was born
Oh night divine
Oh night divine.” Placide Cappeau
As the words filled the chapel, I would watch tears come to faces of men broken by life and my own heart would be filled with the essence of Christmas peace.
Mary would sing, “The Mighty One has done great things for me . . . God’s mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation . . . God has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; God has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.” Luke 1:46-53 (Selected verses). Christmas does not depend upon our material worth or even upon our goodness. For Christmas is God’s gift of love in Jesus Christ for all people.
Prayer: God of promise and hope, you do fill the hungry with good things. You send your messengers of love to us when we most despair. You surprise us with compassion and grace. Your words speak to our hearts. For all the moments we were surprised by your compassion and love, we give you thanks. Amen.
Additional Advent & Christmastide Devotions can be found by clicking here: Advent & Christmastide Devotions