Daily Devotion for December 22, 2020

The Canticle of You

And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

One of the daily Bible readings for today is “The Magnificat,” “The Canticle of Mary” (UMH #199) or “Mary’s Song of Praise” as the NRSV editors call it. In the tradition of Hebrew poetry, Mary counts her blessing and then proclaims the great things God has done not just for her but for others, particularly those most oppressed.

Most of us await our vaccines and are planning a small, but perhaps wildly creative “COVID Christmas.”
Perhaps a good new tradition might be to write the “Canticle of Jack or Steve or Susan or Carol.”
Perhaps the “Canticle of Kate” might begin:

My soul proclaims the greatness of God and my Spirit rejoices, for God has loved me into being and has blessed me with family and friends and life itself, which is precious. I feel the freedom to live fully, because I am confident in the love of God offered to me through Jesus. God has given me faithful colleagues. God has given me a home and health and access to food and conveniences. I feel free, safe, and loved.
I am grateful to our generous and loving God.

In 2020, God has put a laser focus on the injustice around us. God is giving us a new opportunity to right the wrongs of generations and reclaim Christ’s radical love for all people. God is giving us the opportunity to rethink what is important and faithfully build Beloved Community…

For today’s devotion prayer write a Canticle or Song of Praise for the great works of our awesome God in your life and in the world. AMEN.

P.S. If you need to lament instead, please do. God is great at hearing and healing our lamentations, too.

May this devotion provide you with a moment of faithful reflection and care. You are involved in ministries of justice and witness, in ministries of standing up and standing with people working to create better systems and communities, in ministries of learning and searching and researching to become more aware and awakened, more technologically savvy and proficient, more virtually and personally present in your churches and communities and world. Each of us who serve as members of your Wisconsin Cabinet write these devotions in grateful prayer for you – for sustenance and buoyancy, for strength and courage, for safety and just actions, and for faith and love to be full and fulfilled in your daily lives. God’s grace and blessings, God’s challenge and healthy discomfort, God’s Spirit and energy be with you, in the hope Christ offers us all.