December 11 – 17
When the angel told Mary that she would be the mother of Jesus, her first response was one of worship. This Advent, amid the rush of gifts, parties and decorating, we can follow Mary’s example and offer our devotion to the Christ child.
Holy God, you ask us to be present. Present to your love and grace that is given freely. When we surrender, you do extraordinary things in our ordinary days. You turn our hearts to you and the hope and light you bring. Help us take the faithful step to turn ourselves over to your invitation to transform us.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
- If you’re not worshiping God, you’re worshiping something else. Some of us worship our work, our families, our status and money, our country, or our ego. What are the competing things in your life right now? How do you stay focused on God and not idols?
- There are so many ways to look at worship. We have many words to describe the act of worship: adoration, exaltation, praise, thanksgiving, remembrance, devotion. Describe in your own words what worship is for you. How does worship help you focus and lead you forward in the way of Christ?
- The places and things that ultimately transform the world and our lives are not the places and things we expect. How are you open to God in new ways?
- There is great power in the ordinary and unexpected. God is calling you to the next step in your faith – what is it? What is standing in your way? What can get you to say yes?
- Watch BibleProject – The Birth of Jesus: Luke 1-2 and compare Mary’s Song (Luke 1:46-55) to Hannah’s Song (1 Samuel 2:1-11).
- What do you notice?
- What is one specific quality of God’s Kingdom described in these poetic verses?
- What would you practically look like to see more of that quality in your life and community?
- Watch the Guided Advent Meditation
- Mary’s Song (Magnificat)
- 2022 Floris UMC Christmas Cantata (9am) and Christmas Cantata (11am)
- O Come Let Us Adore Him, sung by Floris and Restoration worship leaders
- Watch the Daily Lift
Luke 1:46-55 NIV
46 And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”
2 Then Hannah prayed and said:
“My heart rejoices in the Lord;
in the Lord my horn[a] is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
for I delight in your deliverance.
2 “There is no one holy like the Lord;
there is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.
3 “Do not keep talking so proudly
or let your mouth speak such arrogance,
for the Lord is a God who knows,
and by him deeds are weighed.
4 “The bows of the warriors are broken,
but those who stumbled are armed with strength.
5 Those who were full hire themselves out for food,
but those who were hungry are hungry no more.
She who was barren has borne seven children,
but she who has had many sons pines away.
6 “The Lord brings death and makes alive;
he brings down to the grave and raises up.
7 The Lord sends poverty and wealth;
he humbles and he exalts.
8 He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes
and has them inherit a throne of honor.
“For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s;
on them he has set the world.
9 He will guard the feet of his faithful servants,
but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness.
“It is not by strength that one prevails;
10 those who oppose the Lord will be broken.
The Most High will thunder from heaven;
the Lord will judge the ends of the earth.
“He will give strength to his king
and exalt the horn of his anointed.”
11 Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, but the boy ministered before the Lord under Eli the priest.