Advent Week 4: Joy

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This post is part of an ongoing series of family advent devotions.  You can receive a free printable download of the entire series in PDF format when you subscribe!  Just enter your email into the box in the sidebar or at the bottom of the page.

This week’s Advent liturgy can be completed at any time.  Optional: sing or listen together to your family’s favorite song of praise.  There are also numerous renditions of Mary’s song; you can find many of them on youtube by searching for “Magnificat” (this is the Latin name for Mary’s song).  

Sing or listen to “O Gladsome Light”

Scripture:

Isaiah 60:1-3

Luke 1:39-55

Reflection:

I really wish we knew more about the thoughts and feelings of Mary.  When any woman learns she is expecting a child, such a wide range of emotions well up: love, fear, uncertainty, wonder, inadequacy, and, depending on the circumstances, maybe even shame or disappointment...I have to believe that Mary felt all of these emotions at some point.  But the overwhelming, overflowing emotion of Mary that scripture tells us about is joy.  After her cousin Elizabeth’s baby leapt in her womb at their meeting, Mary bursts into her song of praise to the Lord.  Oh, how I wish I could hear her voice singing that song!  What did it sound like?  What did she look like?  Did Elizabeth join in the song of praise with her?  Until we get to heaven we may never know the answers to these questions, but I do know I am so glad that God, through his servant Luke, chose to give us a glimpse into this intimate moment of communion between Mary, Elizabeth, and the Holy Spirit.  May each of us be able to grasp just a little bit of Mary’s wonder and joy at the expectation of the coming of God’s own Son into our world.

Light the fourth Advent candle

Closing prayer:

Father, we thank you for your willing servant, Mary.  Thank you for allowing us to see a glimpse of her heart through her song of praise to You.  May the song of our heart also be “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”  Amen.

Benediction:

May the Lord bless you and keep you,
May the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you.
May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.
Amen