December 23 I Thursday
“From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is His name. His mercy extends to those who fear Him, from generation to generation.” —Luke 1:48-50
The opening verse of this devotion is an excerpt from Mary’s song, the Magnificat. Mary’s beautiful worship song sings of the reality of what Jesus is going to do in the world. She sings, “He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever” (Luke 1:54-55, NKJV). In the Old Testament, God calls Abraham to leave his homeland and to trust Him. Then, He tells him, “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing…all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:2-3). God chose Abraham’s descendants out of all the families on earth to raise them into a nation through whom He would reveal Himself to all other nations on earth. What Mary is proclaiming in her song is the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham.
Jesus is the fulfilment of God’s Word. He is the blessing to the nations: the One who scatters the proud, the One who topples rulers from their abusive positions, the One who sends the rich away and dismantles their systems of exploitation, the One who fills the hungry with good things, the One who liberates those in chains and heals their pain, and the One who puts the world right again.
As Mary sings this song, the Holy Spirit brings her attention to all of mankind and how God’s mercy covers every human being throughout history, from generation to generation. As a response to God’s mercy, we are to fear Him, as we honestly admit our weakness, sin, poverty of spirit and the complete inability to save ourselves. God’s mercy is available to everyone throughout history, yet some fail to realize their need for it. Hence, Jesus chastised the self-righteous Pharisees saying, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but those who are ill. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:31-32). When we recognize our inability to save ourselves, we look to God for His mercy.
God’s mercy extends from generation to generation. Jesus came to set us free from the captivity of our own sinful lusts and desires and to liberate us from our own destructive choices. He came to fill us with His presence and goodness. If we have not yet received God’s mercy, would we choose this day to recognize who He is, revere Him for what He has done and receive Him as our Lord and Saviour?
Prayer: Precious Lord Jesus, thank You for Your mercy. I choose to recognize that You are the Son of God, revere You for Your finished work on the cross and receive You as my Lord and Saviour. In Jesus’s name I pray, amen!
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