CM – Mary’s song gives us the hope we need to face our challenges

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Reverend Michael Anderson

Right now we all need something to give us hope. With the looming global pandemic, our climate crisis, and a host of other personal issues facing us, we all face difficulties for which there are no quick fixes or easy answers.

It is a time like never before when we have wisdom in the Need government, fresh ideas in business, and a commitment to stand shoulder to shoulder and help each other where we can.

All of these things can give us some hope and encouragement to face the harsh realities of life . But ultimately, I believe that if we are to find real and lasting hope to sustain us in all circumstances, we need to look for an overall more reliable source.

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To our surprise, it is the voice of a humble but deeply spiritual teenager that reminds us where to look. In response to the news that she will give birth to the Son of God, Maria breaks out into a spontaneous song.

In doing so, she gently guides us to where we can find courage and accompany us through the darkest days. She sings…

“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. For he is aware of the humble condition of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, because the mighty one has done great things for me – holy is his name. His mercy extends from generation to generation to those who fear him. He has done mighty deeds with His arm. He has scattered those who are proud in their innermost thoughts. He has overthrown rulers from their thrones, but raised the humble. He satisfied the hungry with good things, but sent the rich away empty-handed. He helped his servant Israel and remembered to be forever merciful to Abraham and his servants, just as he told our fathers ”(Luke 1: 46-55)

When she sang this song, it was Marys Situation as difficult as ours, but for different reasons. The nation of Israel was under Roman rule. The people felt threatened in their national and religious freedom. They hoped that God would raise up a new king for them, his promised Messiah, to free them from this situation . To do this, we need to know something about her character.

Maria can put her trust in God because she understands what he is. In her song she describes God as her “Savior” who was gracious and kind to her.

He did great things for her, even things that were beyond human reason! He is the merciful God. He is the almighty ruler of the universe who scatters the proud and brings down the mighty.

At the same time he is the one who cares for the needy and lifts the humble. In the midst of her own financial hardship and political turmoil, Mary trusted in God because she knew him very well.

It is the same with us. If we are to remain hopeful in the midst of difficult circumstances, we need to know God personally. The good news is that we can. That is why Jesus came to earth.

He did not come as a political, military, or economic savior. He came to save us from our sin. He died on the cross to take the blame for all the wrong things we did. He promises that if we turn away from wrongdoing and believe in him, he will forgive us and become our best friend.

He will then give us the gift of his Holy Spirit to live in us, so that Jesus, wherever we go or whatever we come across, walks with us, guides us, gives us hope and enables us to live properly.

Let me encourage you this Christmas with the words of another song, whatever whenever you have before you “to put your hand in the hand of the Man of Galilee”.

On behalf of everyone at the Arklow Presbyterian Church, Rev Michael Anderson, I wish you and your entire family a merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year. Amen.

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