Thursday, December 22, 2011

Our Humble Estate

So often at this time of year I meditate on the humble circumstances of my Lord Jesus's incarnation: born in a manger to a young virgin who was betrothed to a simple carpenter. This year it is the humble estate of our humanness that is coming into focus; my prayer card seems too long this advent season, as I remember family and friends who have recently been touched by death, illness, hospitalization, financial stresses, relationship difficulties, hurting children, political turmoil, and unstable living situations. My initial thought was that this is such a hard time of year to face such affliction. Then, I was reminded that this is why Jesus came to earth--and, oh, do we ever need a Savior right now! We can bear the heartaches and affliction because, Immanuel, God with us.

This advent season I had the privilege of beholding the beauty of this painting on a serendipitous visit to England's National Gallery with Artist Son, and as a family we have memorized The Magnificat:

Adoration of the Shepherds
by a pupil of Rembrandt
The National Gallery, London

And Mary said,
"My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him, from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the might from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever."

Luke 1: 45-55


Mrs. Edwards said...

Thank you for this. I've never seen that painting; it's beautiful. Why didn't I think of memorizing the Magnificat?

Merry Christmas!

Woman of the House said...

Beautiful thoughts! I'm coming to appreciate the Magnificat more as we sing it in vespers each week. I don't know what took me so long; sometimes I wonder where my head is. lol

Merry Christmas!

Jodi said...

I think the account of the angels appearing to the shepherds and announcing Christ is my favorite Adventide scripture. There is so much hope and promise in it. He came for all. Fear not. Thanks for sharing this.