Union Weekly Advent Devotional: Week 4 - Real Love

Union Weekly Advent Devotional: Real Love
Psalm 89:1-4,19-26
Luke 1:46-55

“My soul magnifies the Lord.” (Luke 1:46b)

A young girl without any titles or credits or degrees to her name, no wealth to support her, no network of friends and family and colleagues to see her through, no security of being born in the right body with the right gender or the right race to seek favor with those in power was visited by an angel of the Lord. And he told her three things: Do not be afraid, you have found favor with God, and that you have everything already within you to birth salvation and redemption and love into the world.; Mary had a song to sing because in a period of such uncertainty, of this she was certain: God is real, redemption is near, and this world is going to change for the better.

As we conclude this advent season and sit in the assurance of Christmas morning, we remember Mary’s story is our story. We’re a little uncertain, a little unsure, we don’t know what our future will hold, but what we do know is that God is real, redemption is near, and this world is going to change for the better. This season holds every part of our lives–the grieving parts, the celebratory parts, the unbearable parts, and the unfinished parts–and reminds us that, like Mary, we don’t have to clean up our circumstances or become a new person to experience God’s favor. Even more, Mary reminds us that right when it looks like we don’t have anything in our lives to claim as a victory, we still have a song to sing.

Real Love is a reminder that we do not have to have it all figured out in order to bring divine hope, peace, and joy into the world. Real Love takes on flesh meaning it is painfully and beautifully human. Real Love is not reserved for some distant, cosmic realm that we might one day hope to see, but quite the opposite. It’s so real and accessible that God would give it a face, so wherever you are this morning take a good look in the mirror and repeat these words: my soul magnifies the Lord.

Let us go to be the gift another needs,
Sharing God’s blessings of love and grace,
Running to tell the Story we heard from the shepherds.
Let us go to be the comfort which can swaddle others,
Sharing Jesus’ compassion with the poor and needy,
Welcoming the holiness offered by the most vulnerable we meet.
Let us go to kindle the lives around us,
Sharing the Spirit’s peace with all the broken,
Learning the language of hope from the children in our midst, amen.