Daily Devotion for December 19, 2011
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
"For Each New Morning"For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
I thank thee.
Prayer for Peace
I thank you, master and lover of mankind, King of the ages and giver of all good things, for destroying the dividing wall of enmity and granting peace to those who seek your mercy. I appeal to you to awaken the longing for a peaceful life in all those who are filled with hate for their neighbors, thinking especially of those at war or preparing for war.
Grant peace to your servants. Implant in us the fear of you and confirm in us love for one another. Extinguish every dispute and banish all temptations to disagreement. For you are our peace and to you we ascribe glory: to the Father and the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto ages of ages.
Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, let me think about these things. What I have learned and received, let me do; and the God of peace be with us all.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah
Mary’s Song of Praise: The MagnificatAnd Mary said,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever."
And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.
Notes on the Scripture
The word "magnify" often gives readers of the Bible a problem, because the word is no longer used in its original sense. "To magnify" originally meant to speak in a way that glorifies or honors someone. Think of "magnificent", i.e., worthy to be magnified. It has very nearly the same meaning as "to praise".
Despite its length, the Magnificat is a simple and beautiful song in two sections. In the first part, Mary praises God, as a reaction to the honor that has been bestowed upon her. She is overcome that God should have even "looked on the humble estate of his servant", that God Himself should have paid her the slightest notice.
The second part is similar to a psalm of David; it is taken from the same poetic tradition and uses the standard poetic device of "parallelism", where one statement is followed by a second in the same meter, which either repeats the main idea or provides a contrast to it, such as "He has brought down the mighty from their thrones" followed by "and exalted those of humble estate".
The meaning of the Magnificat is straightforward. It is worth reading through it slowly and letting each sentence sink in a bit. Mary, who is loved by Christians of all stripes and is venerated by many, voices a beautiful tribute to the God who has chosen her to bear His son.