Luke 1:68–79 (NRSV)
Verse 68"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them. Verse 69He has raised up a mighty savior for us in the house of his servant David, Verse 70as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, Verse 71that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us. Verse 72Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and has remembered his holy covenant, Verse 73the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham, to grant us Verse 74that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear, Verse 75in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. Verse 76And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, Verse 77to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins. Verse 78By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, Verse 79to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."
Mary’s song, remembered in the words of our theme hymn for Advent, reminds us that the tender mercy of our God is showered upon us through the birth of the most vulnerable of human beings—an infant. As we watch and pray through this season of Advent, it can be challenging to remember that God is steadfast in God’s covenant, and that no matter the darkness and shadow of death through which we walk, still God is always with us, lighting the way and holding us close. Racial injustice, climate catastrophe, COVID-19—even as we struggle through the depths of our sinfulness we are being held close by our God, whose mercies endure forever.
Mothering God, hold us as we try to walk in the communion of saints, remembering the promises you made in your covenant with Abraham and which your peoples have carried forward through the centuries. Help us to trust in this covenant and to walk forward on the path of peace. Breathe with us as we breathe in hope and light, and breathe with us as we breathe out hatred and fear. Amen.