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     He [God] 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 ancestorsLuke 1:51-55

Dear heavenly Father, as Mary prayed this magnificent prayer, little could she have imagined what was ahead. Her birth pains in nine months would be greatly surpassed by her heart pains thirty-three years later, at the foot of her son’s cross.

But there’s one thing she did understand—at least one thing she took to heart, from her years of growing up in a home of faith. She was taught that you are a God who can be trusted—a God who “remembers to be merciful”; a God who has made covenant promises you alone can keep.

Father, we worship and adore you this morning, for your great faithfulness and the greatness of your mercy. Indeed, Christmas is a celebration of your memory. With the gift of Jesus, you remembered all the promises you made to Abraham and to his descendants, which include us. We are humbled and overwhelmed.

You promised Abraham you would take him to a land of your choosing, make of him a great nation; and through that nation, you would ultimately bless all the families on the face of the earth (Gen. 12-17). No one could fulfill these promises but you.

Like Mary, Abraham couldn’t have begun to imagine how all of this would play out. But, in the fullness of time, the promises you made to Abraham and this prayer Mary prayed, all found their fulfillment in the gift of your Son, Jesus.

Lord Jesus, every promise God has made finds its fulfillment in you (2 Cor. 1:20). Because of your faithfulness, from cradle to the cross, we live in the embrace of the Father of mercies and God of all comfort (2 Cor.1:3)—whose mercies are new every morning and whose steadfast love for us will never come to an end (Lam. 3:22-23). Great is his faithfulness!

Because of your finished work on our behalf, Lord Jesus, the only sign of amnesia in our Father is his “forgetting to remember” our sins against us! (Isa. 43:25) What peace, what joy, what hope this brings us today. So very Amen we pray, with the faith of Abraham and the humility of Mary, in your gracious and loving name.

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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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