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Fourth Sunday in Advent

Today’s devotion focuses on the Gospel of the day and is from Meditations on the Gospels.

Scripture Readings

Micah 5:2–5a
Psalm 80:1–7
Hebrews 10:5–10
Luke 1:39–56

Read the propers for today in Lutheran Service Builder.

Devotional Reading

Note the many quotations from the Old Testament in Mary’s song. She cites the songs of Hannah, Miriam, and Deborah, and almost a dozen psalms. This shows how familiar she was with the Scriptures. There was the source of her marvelous faith, a faith for which Elizabeth rightly called her blessed; she recognized the contrast between the faith of the Virgin and the unbelief of her own husband. And while so many in Israel misunderstood and misinterpreted the prophecies of the Old Testament, Mary, because of her diligent and faithful study of the Holy Writings, knew of the spiritual hopes of Israel; she understood correctly the promise of the Seed of the woman, of the Child of the virgin. Her joy was based on the fact that God was her Savior. She, too, needed His salvation, and she praised God that He was now sending Him who would save her, and, of course, all the suffering, sinning world around her.

All praise of God must culminate in praise for His sending His Son. God’s holiness and power are evident in all His dealings with us—in His creative work, in His providential care for all His creation, in His judgments on people and nations. Twenty centuries have gone by since Mary sang her song, bringing countless examples to show that God still resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. Sooner or later, His judgment will fall on all who trust in their own might or wisdom or virtue, while His blessing rests on those whose hope is in His promises of grace and mercy manifested in the coming of the Savior.

So Mary’s song is still our song. She had a special reason for her praise of God that no other mortal can share, but the wide scope of her thanksgiving applies to us as well. We lay in the depths of error, of foolishness and sin, but God looked upon our lowliness and raised us up with a mighty salvation. Never was there a greater manifestation of the power and holiness of God than in the incarnation of His Son to completely bear our sin and to redeem the whole world from the results of its wickedness.

Devotional reading is from Meditations on the Gospels, pages 395–96 © 2009 Concordia Publishing House. Originally published in 1948 as The Devotional Bible. All rights reserved.


Video is of “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” from Four Advent Hymns for Twelve Bells © 2017 Concordia Publishing House.


Written by

Anna Johnson

Deaconess Anna Johnson is a marketing manager at Concordia Publishing House. After graduating from the deaconess program at Concordia University Chicago, she continued her studies at the University of Colorado—Denver in education and human development. She has worked as a church youth director and served a variety of other nonprofit organizations, such as the Lutheran Mission Society of Maryland. Anna loves playing video games and drinking a hot cup of tea almost as much as she loves her cat and her husband.


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