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Elizabeth is surprised that the child within her leaps for joy at the sound of Mary’s voice. Elizabeth’s greeting in return surprises Mary. Elizabeth, “filled with the Holy Spirit,” confirms Gabriel’s message to Mary, who surprisingly breaks out in song.
Mary’s singing may not surprise those of us who read...

God, my spirit rejoices in your surprising presence among us. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
December 17–23, 2018
Scripture Overview

As Christians we understand that our faith is rooted in the ongoing story of God’s faithfulness to God’s people. Micah celebrates this story, prophesying that the true king of Israel will one day come from the small village of Bethlehem, Jesus’ birthplace. Luke features women prominently throughout his Gospel. The two readings from Luke this week highlight the prophetic insights of Elizabeth and Mary. Mary visits Elizabeth, who is pregnant with John, God’s messenger. After Elizabeth identifies Mary as the mother of the Lord, Mary breaks into song, understanding that her story is tied to the fulfillment of God’s promises going back to Abraham. Little does she know that her son will one day offer his body as a sacrifice for all, as Hebrews tells us.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Micah 5:2-5a. What “small” beginnings have yielded great results in your life?
• Read Psalm 80:1-7. How does this psalm of lament speak to you? When has God restored you and shone the light of divine love on you?
• Read Hebrews 10:5-10. What do you believe God desires from you? In what ways does Jesus’ life of obedience help you understand God’s intention for you and the world?
• Read Luke 1:39-55. When have you been stopped in your tracks by meeting unexpectedly an old acquaintance? How did God speak to you in that encounter?

Respond by posting a prayer.

In Solitude

"In solitude we discover that we are not what we do but what we are given; that we are not the result of our judgments but born out of God's love." Read more.