12.5 Advent Devotional
What Child is This
What child is this, who, laid to rest,
on Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet
while shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
haste, haste to bring him laud,
the babe, the son of Mary!
Scripture - Luke 1:46-55
46 And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50 His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
Devotion - Mary's Song
Mary’s Song is a dramatic moment in Luke’s telling of the Advent story, with words drawn from ancient Jewish/Christian canticles and early Christian hymns that affirm the fulfillment of the promise of God to Abraham (Gen. 12: 1 – 3), and the prophesy of Isaiah (Is. 7: 13 – 15).
Mary expresses deep humility, thanks and praise to God in spite of the cultural shame and humiliation brought upon her and her betrothed, Joseph. This must have been amazing moment for her as she became aware of the presence of the divine in her body.
This passage is a regular part of worship liturgy in some Christian denominations as part of Evensong and Vespers. It is also, of course, utilized in the celebration of Advent. Many composers over the centuries have set these words to music.
Breath of Heaven performed Rachael McConnell, written by Amy Grant and Chris Eaton