Our scripture this week is Luke 1:46-55, taken today from the Common English Bible (CEB).

Mary said, “With all my heart I glorify the Lord! In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my savior. He has looked with favor on the low status of his servant. Look! From now on, everyone will consider me highly favored because the mighty one has done great things for me. Holy is his name. He shows mercy to everyone, from one generation to the next, who honors him as God. He has shown strength with his arm. He has scattered those with arrogant thoughts and proud inclinations. He has pulled the powerful down from their thrones and lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty-handed. He has come to the aid of his servant Israel, remembering his mercy, just as he promised to our ancestors, to Abraham and to Abraham’s descendants forever.

What does it mean to be blessed? If it is the gift of good things according to human standards, Mary has certainly received a mixed blessing – a young unmarried pregnant woman in that society would not be “highly favored” as she says. It would be a difficult situation.

Yet Mary praises God for what He has done. Earlier in Luke’s account, when the angel Gabriel tells Mary what is to happen, she replies “I am the Lord’s servant. Let it be with me just as you have said” (Luke 1:38). Mary understood that this blessing was not really for her, but for the whole world, and she accepts the responsibility that requires.

God blesses us to be a blessing to others as well. We are given gifts to be shared with all His children. May we respond with acceptance and praise as Mary did.

Gracious God, we often forget our responsibility to You and to our brothers and sisters here. Help us to see the needs of the world and use the blessings You have given us to share Your love with everyone. Amen.

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