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Liberation and Freedom

Today’s Reflection

WHEN MARY LEARNS that she will give birth to the Messiah, she sings an aria of freedom. Her song presents no sweet lullaby in anticipation of her baby’s birth but a message of freedom and hope for the homeless, the hungry, the refugee, the abused and misused, the powerless, and the despairing. These words express a vision for a better future: “[God] has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly” (Luke 1:52).

Her song captures the words of hope from Hannah and Miriam and echoes the cry of deliverance from the Exodus, “Let my people go!” Mary passes these words of hope into the world, where Jesus proclaims this theme of deliverance in his inaugural sermon: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor … and to let the oppressed go free” (Luke 4:18). …

Mary’s words of liberation and freedom set the stage for the beginning of a new sense of deliverance and hope for a dark and fearful world.

Singing Mary’s Song

From page 5 of Singing Mary’s Song: An Advent Message of Hope and Deliverance by John A. Stroman. Copyright © 2012 by John A. Stroman. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Where do you see the work of liberation and freedom sung by Mary? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Isaiah 40:3, NRSV

This Week: pray for peace. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Dorothy Day (December 6).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2017 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

{ 21 comments… add one }

  • robert moeller December 5, 2017, 5:41 am

    Wherever people are helped by the hands of God I see the work of liberation and freedom sung by Mary. Believers are the hands of God and we strive to do God’s will. Thank You, Lord, for enabling us.

    Prayers for peace, God’s peace, to every human being. Lord, Your peace is needed every day, may we also be messengers of Your peace.

    Thankful I am able to read and post as the Reflection did not come to my email in box. Blessings to all of the UR family, may hope, healing, reconciliation, comfort, love, grace, and mercy be yours from God, the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Christ, in whose name I pray. Amen.

    • Marcy December 5, 2017, 4:29 pm

      Beautiful and thoughtful comment, Robert. We are thankful for your prayers. God’s blessings to you and your family.

  • Jill December 5, 2017, 7:37 am

    I see this ongoing effort in the countless volunteers that are out there meeting a need. They are anxious to do it and willing to sacrifice time and acknowledgement. A cup of cold water takes on many meanings/looks.
    Mary – so glad to know that your interview went well and you got the outcome you were hoping for. Congratulations.
    I thank you for your continued prayers concerning my mom. She is fraught with fear – and her appointment is still a week away. She cannot receive any words of encouragement. My dad needs your prayers – to remain steadfast with her. I fear her mind is the devil’s playground.
    I am grateful for my Loving Heavenly Father – and the peace he mercifully extends. How I wish my mom could receive it.

    • Andrea December 5, 2017, 7:44 am

      My prayers for your parents and for you, Jill. Your parents are blessed to have you.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 5, 2017, 11:47 am

      Thank you so much Jill!


      • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 5, 2017, 12:02 pm

        Prayers for your parents, Jill.

        We commit Jill’s parents into your hands, dear Heavenly Father. May they continue to be fruitful and refreshing even in their old age.

        May your blessings and favor be upon Jill and her patents!

        • Marcy December 5, 2017, 4:25 pm

          Yes, LORD, please be with Jill and her parents. We love and trust You, always. Amen.

  • Andrea December 5, 2017, 7:42 am

    I am also thankful for a new Reflection today, Robert. There was not a new Reflection on the web site either.

    From a window, I am looking at a beautiful, soft, new blanket of snow over the landscape. Soft ripply gray clouds lie on the horizon in the east and the sunrise is just beginning. It occurs to me that Advent is the Sonrise. Mary’s song tells of good people everywhere who help the world’s vulnerable. They are among us everywhere. May I be ever mindful of how to respond to live out Mary’s song, which forecast Jesus’ life and teachings.

    I ask for your prayers for my husband, who is prepping for a medical procedure tomorrow.

    I pray for guidance this Advent and Christmas. I pray to live from a center of peace and love. God’s blessings to all this new day.

    Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. (Isaiah 40.)

    • Marcy December 5, 2017, 4:21 pm

      Andrea, I am lifting up your husband, Lowell, in prayer for his medical procedure tomorrow. LORD, please watch over and be with both Lowell and Andrea tomorrow and bless the medical professionals with wisdom as Lowell undergoes his procedure. IJN we pray. Amen.

      • Andrea December 5, 2017, 10:24 pm

        Thank you Marcy, and bless you. Keeping you in prayer.

  • Julie December 5, 2017, 7:56 am

    First responders who place themselves in harms way, willingly, to help others.
    Robert, I could not post yesterday because no email arrived for me either.
    Mary, so glad to hear the good news. I prayed for you throughout the day. You are such a great example and I am trying to learn from you to say much with few words.
    Please know that each of you that post are lifted up to the Lord by me at least once each day and many several times. I realize that knowing someone, somewhere is praying for me is very heartwarming.
    Blessings to all of you, my friends and faith family

    • Andrea December 5, 2017, 9:10 am

      Thank you for your prayers, Julie.

      Yes, wonderful news, Mary. Congratulations.

      • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 5, 2017, 11:45 am

        Thank you so much Julie and Andrea!


    • Marcy December 5, 2017, 4:33 pm

      Yes, thank you, Julie. Bless you!

  • Carol December 5, 2017, 9:10 am

    Jill it’s the same with my husband! Andrea praying for husband. Wish you had told us his name. Robert all I can say is amen.

    • Andrea December 5, 2017, 11:05 am

      Thank you, Carol. I will pray for your husband and for you. My husband’s name is Lowell.

    • Marcy December 5, 2017, 4:45 pm

      I join Andrea in prayer for you, Carol. Blessed be!

  • Marcy December 5, 2017, 4:43 pm

    Praying for peace, LORD! Peace in the world, peace of mind, soul and body, peace for all peoples everywhere. Yes, Jesus, thank You for Your Peace, Hope and Love heralded by the angels.

    And these three remain: Faith, Hope and Love, and the greatest of these is LOVE!

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 5, 2017, 10:19 pm

    I see the work of liberation and freedom in children if God showing God’s love and the good news with the poor and needy.


    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 5, 2017, 10:20 pm

      I mean children of God. Sorry for the typo error

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 6, 2017, 6:01 am

    I see the work of liberation and freedom in children of God showing love and sharing the good news with the poor and needy so that they will be delivered by the bondage of sins,

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