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Devotions For Advent – December 6 From Pastor Mike

Luke 1:46-49

And Mary said:

“My soul glorifies the Lord

    and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

for he has been mindful

    of the humble state of his servant.

From now on all generations will call me blessed,

    for the Mighty One has done great things for me—

    holy is his name. …

            We don’t venerate Mary, consider her perfect, or for that matter, think she was any more or less human than anyone else. At the same time, we shouldn’t shy away from admiring Mary for her deep faith, her humble obedience and for the great blessing God bestowed on her. We should also respect Mary as one of the women God inspired to author a portion of the Bible. This young woman from a small town, probably with little education and no theological training, agreed to carry and raise the Christ-child and composed this song that has inspired millions of believers for 2,000 years. Mary deserves our admiration and should hold a special place in the hearts of believers, alongside the Disciples and the Apostle Paul, as one of the most influential followers of Jesus in the New Testament.

            Admiration is not the same thing as adoration. We don’t adore, worship or pray to Mary, and judging from the opening lines of her song, she didn’t want anyone to. Mary understood just how blessed she was to be chosen as Jesus’ mother, but her focus was not on her own saintliness. She was overwhelmed by the magnificence of God. Her soul glorified the Lord. Her spirit rejoiced in her Savior. She celebrated God as mighty and holy. Mary showed us how we should respond when God calls us to serve his good purposes. We don’t boast in our greatness or push others aside to claim credit for what we achieve. We don’t build a pedestal to display our own success. Instead, we glorify God for what He achieves through us, and we rejoice in the great things He does through our humble service.

            The truth is, God has called you to serve in his Kingdom, just as He called Mary. Your calling will be different than Mary’s, but you should feel just as blessed, just as honored to play a role in God’s work of salvation. Some serve at home as loving parents and grandparents. Some serve at church in various ministries and administrative roles. Some serve in the mission fields of careers, neighborhoods and community involvement. Some serve publically, and some serve behind the scenes. There are numerous jobs in God’s Kingdom and many ways we can share Jesus’ love and message. May your spirit rejoice in the Savior and humbly join in service to his holy name.

Glorious Father, I rejoice in Your goodness, power and love. Thank You for calling me to serve You and for building Your church through the humble service of my sisters and brothers in Christ. Bless Your church and build Your kingdom, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Mike Mirakian

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