2 Samuel 7:18, 23-29
Mary’s Song of Praise
46 And Mary* said,
‘My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
48 for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50 His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’
2 Samuel 7:18, 23-29
18 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and said, ‘Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? 23Who is like your people, like Israel? Is there another* nation on earth whose God went to redeem it as a people, and to make a name for himself, doing great and awesome things for them,* by driving out* before his people nations and their gods?* 24And you established your people Israel for yourself to be your people for ever; and you, O Lord, became their God. 25And now, O Lord God, as for the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and concerning his house, confirm it for ever; do as you have promised. 26Thus your name will be magnified for ever in the saying, “The Lord of hosts is God over Israel”; and the house of your servant David will be established before you. 27For you, O Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have made this revelation to your servant, saying, “I will build you a house”; therefore your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you. 28And now, O Lord God, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant; 29now therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue for ever before you; for you, O Lord God, have spoken, and with your blessing shall the house of your servant be blessed for ever.’
6 Just as Abraham ‘believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness’, 7so, you see, those who believe are the descendants of Abraham. 8And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, declared the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘All the Gentiles shall be blessed in you.’ 9For this reason, those who believe are blessed with Abraham who believed.
10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the things written in the book of the law.’ 11Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law; for ‘The one who is righteous will live by faith.’* 12But the law does not rest on faith; on the contrary, ‘Whoever does the works of the law* will live by them.’ 13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’— 14in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
The promise of the Spirit through faith
These are powerful words. In these few words is something of which we need daily reminder.
It is easy to focus upon the work of the church, helping the poor, visiting the elderly, living simply in compassion, simplicity and humility, and forget that behind all our earthly behavior is this ‘The promise of the Spirit through faith’.
I have been listening, almost daily, to Handel’s Messiah. Track # 22 on the CD I have is ‘I know that my redeemer liveth’. Mixed in with joys and grief of Christmas, I have used this recording to remind me of what is important, especially in these few days before Christmas.
Watch and enjoy all the lights in your life, especially Jesus Christ.