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Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 20

The Rev. Mandy Brady and The Rev. Sarah Fisher


My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.

Mary’s song, the Magnificat, is the heart of the Fourth Sunday in Advent. It is the song of hope, of revolution, of anticipation of all that is to be ushered in with this miraculous birth. It all begins with her proclamation of her soul, her spirit proclaiming God’s goodness and saving grace.

Mary’s times were different from ours, to be sure, and yet there were similarities. She lived in an uncertain time when the political world felt out of control. It was there, in an uncertain world, that Mary was invited into God’s grand adventure. Part of the miracle was that she had the courage to say yes. Yes to something she didn’t understand, that she couldn’t yet know what it would cost her, but she was willing to trust God with her whole self. The opening lines of the Magnificat point to everything she will do and say: to be an image and reflection of God—God’s action, God’s presence, God’s providence.

We also live in uncertain times. 2020 has been a particularly hard year. Just about every aspect of our lives has been challenged and changed. How will we proclaim the greatness of the Lord this year—in our lives, in our world and in our hearts? How can we do this in the midst of civil unrest and a pandemic? How can we do this when our world feels disjointed and out of place?

As we look to the birth of Christ and to a new and hopefully better year, let us hold fast to the mystery of the Incarnation, that God comes again and again to be with us in the messiness of it all, and to continually reveal God’s self to us—that we might proclaim the glory of the Lord and rejoice in the Spirt of God our Savior

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