Fourth Sunday in Advent (Rolf Olson)

“He has shown strength with his arm,
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts,
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted those of low degree;
He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich he has sent empty away.”

                                    (Luke 1:51-53)

The dark windows on the west wall of the church reflect candles at the altar as voices rise in unison, “You have looked with love on your servant here and left the wealthy no part.” It is Lent and we are in the midst of the Magnificat– Mary’s hymn of praise.  The worship leader and congregational voices combine to bridge time and space.  We are connected to the many Lenten services before and the services to come.  Even during the pandemic, All Saints found a way to keep the Holden Evening Prayer service as part of our faith life as a church. I am sure that Lent 2022 will find us singing these familiar words together again.

Lent, like Advent, is a season of expectation, looking toward God’s ultimate demonstration of love for humanity.  Mary’s prophetic song appears in the section of Luke during her visit to the person who would baptize Jesus in the Jordan River.  Mary’s song expresses awe for God’s power and majesty, and it emphasizes the gifts of God that are bestowed on the hungry and humble.  The love of God has nothing to do with earthly power and pride, but everything to do with the good things given to all through infinite grace and love. This is why the connection between the expected child of Advent with the sacrifice of the Savior anticipated during Lent is so important. The whole of God’s message of love encompasses birth and sacrifice. This season of Love unites believers past and present, and it transcends time by looking to the future through rekindling traditions.

Prayer

Dear God, we give thanks for the loving gift of your Son. Inspire our lives with your love so that we might share your gracious goodness with everyone we encounter on life’s journey.  Give us the humility to see ourselves truly and inspire us to keep our hearts open to your love.

Amen
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