December 16 Devotional
Come to Stillness: Take a few minutes to allow your mind and heart to be still before God.
Opening Prayer: Yes, Father! Yes! And always Yes! - Francis de Sales
Scripture Reading for the Day: Luke 1:39-56
Reading for Reflection: Magnificat. It is a Latin word which means [My soul] magnifies. It is also the name by which this prayer of Mary’s has been known through the ages. It is truly one of the great prayers of all time. It is the prayer of an innocent and obedient young girl who decided to say yes to God, even in the most ridiculous, challenging, and overwhelming of circumstances. It is a prayer of trust. It is a prayer of surrender. But most of all it is a prayer of total openness. It is a prayer that reveals a heart that is held wide open to whatever God might desire, and to however he might choose to show up. It is a prayer that literally says, Come, Lord Jesus! Come to us. Come among us. Come be born in us. It is a prayer of invitation. And if we too desire God to be born in us this day, and this season, maybe it is a prayer we should pay attention to as well. Because, for God to be born in us, there seems a certain posture that is required. It seems that God has a preference for the lowly, the vulnerable, and the small. It is in those kinds of places that he seems most likely to be born. Just look at the prayer: My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. And then a little later: he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate. The word used here for humble comes from the root tapeinos which means “to make low.” Somehow Mary’s low estate provided the perfect heart (womb) for God to be born in. Somehow there was room in that kind of heart; room that is typically taken up in those of us that are full of ourselves. Taken up with our pride and our ambition and our reputation. It seems that the proud, the rulers, and the rich have a difficult time making space within them for this to birth to occur. Therefore, may we never become too big, or too high, or too occupied to miss how Jesus wants to come to us this season - how he wants to be born in us. May we pray this incredible prayer, both in word and in spirit, with Mary, that our hearts might be open and prepared to receive him, whenever and however he comes.
Reflection and Listening: silent and written
Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself
Josh and Jenny M. are working with the RAK Church Plant in the United Arab Emirates. Josh was recently at CSPC meeting with our mission leaders. Pray today for Josh and Jenny and the other staff of the church plant as they grow a church community with Bible studies, classes and weekly gatherings.
The mission of Compassion Coalition is to inform, prepare, and unite churches to transform lives and communities through the love of Christ. They strive to walk alongside Knoxville-area churches who earnestly desire to slow down and respond to the cry of the suffering, the broken, and the abandoned within their congregations and out in the community. Pray today for the work of this ministry in Knoxville.
Closing Prayer: I’m bursting with God-news; I’m dancing the song of my Savior God. God took one good look at me, and look what happened - I’m the most fortunate woman on earth! What God has done for me will never be forgotten, the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others. His mercy flows in wave after wave on those who are in awe before him. He bared his arm and showed his strength, scattered the bluffing braggarts. He knocked tyrants off their high horses, pulled victims out of the mud. The starving poor sat down to a banquet; the callous rich were left out in the cold. He embraced his chosen child, Israel; he remembered and piled on the mercies, piled them high. It’s exactly what he promised, beginning with Abraham and right up to now. (Luke 1:46-55, The Message)