Hope for the Hopeless

In Daily Devotional by Chris Walker

Bible Verse: His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors. Luke 1:50-55

Scripture Reading: Luke 1:26-56

Anyone who has grown up in church has likely seen a children’s Christmas presentation or two.

I have many memories of seeing the acted-out Christmas story, with kids playing shepherds and wise men and Joseph and Mary.

Whoever was Mary got to say some of the most beautiful lines of Scripture, known as “The Magnificat” (Latin for “My soul magnifies the Lord,” taken from the first line of Mary’s words).

Unlike Zechariah, whom we looked at yesterday, Mary responds to God’s plan with faith, hope, and worship (although Zechariah does get there eventually, as we have seen).

Mary knows who her God is and praises Him for who He is, what He has done, what He is doing, and what He is going to do.

And as cute as it was to watch a girl in church with a towel wrapped around her head as a shawl lisping her way through these words, Mary’s words are far from light and fluffy. Amid her hope-filled praises are some very strong proclamations indeed.

The proud will be scattered.

Rulers will be laid low.

The humble will be exalted.

The hungry will be fed.

And the rich will be emptied.

Far from simply a few lines of prayer from a young woman, Mary delivers powerful prophetic words of righteousness and justice prevailing under a new King and a new Kingdom.

For the humble, the hungry, the oppressed—God will make things right. Faithfulness will be rewarded. Wrongdoing will be dealt with.

The Christ child comes to save the world from sin, which would be amazing enough. But our hope goes far beyond that: He comes to set up a Kingdom where wrongs will be righted, needs will be met, and justice will be done.

And this Kingdom does not start “someday” down the road; it has already begun (Mark 1:15). We the Church are privileged to experience this Kingdom right now, live it out right now, and tell people of this hope right now.

For those lost in sin, those who are oppressed, and those who are poor and hungry, Jesus brings hope to the hopeless. At Christmastime, we rejoice with Mary’s words and welcome the Saviour who came to fulfill this hope.

Prayer: Lord, hear the words that You breathed through Your servant, Mary, and accomplish them in my life and in Your world. Amen.

Reflection: Where can you take a step today towards practically doing something to see these words fulfilled? Who is low that you can help lift up? Who is hungry that you can support? Where might an oppressor need to be stood up to or called out? Where can you live out these words today?


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About
Chris Walker
Chris Walker is the Content Editor at Impactus. He was a pastor in the local church for over 2 decades, and has served in a variety of ministry roles, including as a columnist at Patheos. He desires to see men filled with God's Word and His Spirit in order to fulfill His call for their lives. Chris is married to Sarah with two children, and lives in the Windsor-Essex region of Ontario.
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Chris Walker
Chris Walker is the Content Editor at Impactus. He was a pastor in the local church for over 2 decades, and has served in a variety of ministry roles, including as a columnist at Patheos. He desires to see men filled with God's Word and His Spirit in order to fulfill His call for their lives. Chris is married to Sarah with two children, and lives in the Windsor-Essex region of Ontario.