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Summary: 4th Sunday in Advent

Fourth Sunday in Advent

Luke 1 (quickview) : 39-45 (46-55)

"Singing for Joy"

39 ¶ In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah,

40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.

41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit

42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!

43 And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

44 For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy.

45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."

46 And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord,

47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

48 for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;

49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

50 And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation.

51 He has shown strength with his arm, he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts,

52 he has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree;

53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away.

54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,

55 as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever."RSV

Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen

Our gospel lesson this morning is about song. Mary and Elizabeth sing songs of praise to God.

They sing because of the joy in their hearts at the miracle of life which God gave them.

They sing songs of joy to God for being allowed to bring John the Baptist and Jesus into this world.

Mary who was pregnant with baby Jesus and Elizabeth was pregnant with John. Mary went to see Elizabeth after she found out from the angel she was carrying God’s son. Mary, I imagine, had to find someone to talk with to help her sort out all that had happened to her. She greeted Elizabeth and the text says,"and when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb. .." further the text says, as Elizabeth is speaking, "For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord. "

As one studies this passage closely, one finds it is Mary’s humble song of praise to God for being chosen by God so that God’s power of love, mercy and forgiveness may be manifested in this world.

Mary sings to God

"My soul magnifies the Lord,

47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

48 for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;

49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

Mary sings to God for the blessing he has bestowed upon her. This Magnificat not a song about Mary, but a song about God. It is a song about how God used Mary to bring his son into this world.


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