Tuesday 22 December 2015

Bible Book:

Luke 1:46-56 Tuesday 22 December 2015

Psalm: Psalm 1


The first two chapters of Luke's Gospel, dealing with the birthand early years of John the Baptist and Jesus, are notable for theoutbursts of praise that punctuate the narrative. We are left in nodoubt that the events are good news for the world. Today's is thefirst of such passages, and it deserves to be compared with 1Samuel 2:1-10, where Hannah gives thanks for the unexpectedbirth of Samuel, another turning-point in the story of God'sdealings with the world.

For many Christians this passage is familiar as the Magnificat,sung regularly at evening worship. It is very subversive, thoughthat is perhaps not always noticed when it is sung with enthusiasm!It celebrates God's 'preference for the poor', challenging ourassumption that wealth and power are what really count (compare theBeatitudes in Luke 6:20-26). It is so confident that theworld's powers will be overthrown that it can refer to theoverthrow as already accomplished (note the use of the past tensein the passage). We are invited to see that in the birth of Jesusthat is indeed the case.

At first sight the focus appears to be upon Israel (v. 54), asthough the birth of Jesus was relevant only for the Jewish people,but the reference to "Abraham and his descendants for ever" (v. 55)reminds us that God's promise to him was that he would be a causeof blessing to all nations (Genesis 12:3).

To Ponder

  • What for you is the most significant, or challenging, sentencein this passage? Why?
  • What might be the 'good things' for which we hunger and whichGod supplies?
  • Reflect on how verses 51-52 might be fulfilled in the world aswe know it today.
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