Fourth Sunday of Advent – December 24, 2017

Texts for the Day

The Transformation of the World

This is the fourth of our Advent series on what we are waiting for. In previous weeks we have talked about the end of the world. We have talked about Jesus and his identity as Messiah and Son of God. We have not, however, talked about what we are waiting for in this world, in the here and now. The selection of the Mary’s song, the Magnificat, gives us an opportunity to do just that.

Singing and praising God is a common motif in Luke. For examples, read Luke 2:20, Luke 17:15, or Luke 24:53. See if you can find more of your own. Several of these songs are even written down.

  • The first of these is Mary’s song which is in the lectionary this week. Mary sings this song when she visits Elizabeth.
  • The second song is sung by Zechariah, Elizabeth’s husband, after the birth of their son John. Read this song in Luke 1:68-79.
  • A third song is sung by Simeon, a man Mary and Joseph meet when they present Jesus in the temple. Read this song in Luke 2:29-32.

All of these songs praise God for what God has done in the singers’ lives. What other themes do you notice in these songs? How are they similar? How are they different?

Questions for reflection:

  • In what ways do you sing this song? What great deeds has God performed for you? For what do you still wait?
  • In what ways do you see this song as a call to action? How are you called to be God’s hands in performing great deeds and fulfilling God’s promise?
  • In what ways do you see this song as a challenge? Are you among the rulers who will be brought down or the rich who will be sent away empty? How do you respond to this?

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