Fourth Sunday in Advent – Wednesday
Blessed is she that believed. – Luke 1:45.
In those days, when the angel Gabriel had made the great annunciation to Mary, she arose and went with haste from Nazareth, in Galilee, into that city of Judea, where Zacharias and Elisabeth lived. And she entered into the house of Zacharias and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb.
And Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost, working through His Word, and she spoke out with a loud voice and said: “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord” (Luke 1:42-45).
And Mary, also, was filled with the Holy Ghost, and uttered that beautiful psalm, the “Magnificat,” which begins with the words, “My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God, my Savior” (Luke 1:46-47). And Mary abode with Elisabeth three months, and then returned to her own house (Luke 1:56).
PRAYER. – Behold, O faithful God, the pitiful condition of my heart. Indeed, by Thy grace alone, I believe in Thee, my Savior Jesus Christ. But my poor sinful heart is so barren, so quick to grasp earthly things, so slow to grasp heavenly things. God, Holy Ghost, Thou art my Strength, increase my faith through Thy Word, that the fire of Thy love may burn ever more brightly within me, so that I may experience more and more heartfelt joy and gladness in my Savior, and grow in my love for Him. Amen.
Oh, rejoice, ye Christians, loudly, for our joy hath now begun; wondrous things our God hath done. Tell abroad His goodness proudly who our race hath honored thus that He deigns to dwell with us. Joy, O joy, beyond all gladness, Christ hath done away with sadness! Hence, all sorrow and repining, for the Sun of Grace is shining!
See, my soul, thy Savior chooses weakness here and poverty; in such love He comes to thee nor the hardest couch refuses. All He suffers for thy good, to redeem thee by His blood. Joy, O joy, beyond all gladness, Christ hath done away with sadness! Hence, all sorrow and repining, for the Sun of Grace is shining!
Lord, how shall I thank Thee rightly? I acknowledge that by Thee I am saved eternally. Let me not forget it lightly, but to Thee at all times cleave and my heart true peace receive. Joy, O joy, beyond all gladness, Christ hath done away with sadness! Hence, all sorrow and repining, for the Sun of Grace is shining!
(Hymn 96. st. 1-3; TLH)