Daily Encouragement - December 11

And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord,

and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.

Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

for the Mighty One has done great things for me,

and holy is his name.

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 powerful from their thrones,

and lifted up the lowly;

he has filled the hungry with good things,

and sent the rich away empty.

He has helped his servant Israel,

in remembrance of his mercy,

according to the promise he made to our ancestors,

to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

— Luke 1:46-55


Christmas celebrations have changed over the years. There was a time where the absurdity of the season was the very point. In Greece, a mock bishop was elected, dressed in robes and rode through the city streets on a donkey. In France, monks would put on the vestments inside out, hold books upside-down, and wear spectacles made of orange peels. Rather than the noble chanting of the liturgy, they would bray off key and recite gibberish. In England, the Feast of Fools was marked by a beggar dressed in finest robes and hailed as the king of the land; servants became the masters and children became parents.


We giggle at the absurdity of it all, and yet, there it is in the great hymn of Mary speaks, there is something about the central story of our faith that turns the world upside down — scatters the proud in the imagination of their hearts, brings the powerful down from their thrones, lifts up the lowly, sends the rich away empty, and filled the hungry with good things. Christmas is about imagining a world turned right side up, actually. Turned to the justice and peace God dreams for us; turned to joy and compassion; turned toward all that God knows the world can be.


There is a hymn in our Faith We Sing hymnal that invites us to long for the Christmas that can be, for the day when things will be turned right side up:


Star-child, earth-child, go between of God,

Love Child, Christ child, heaven’s lightning rod,


This year, this year, let the day arrive

when Christmas comes for everyone, everyone alive.


Hope for peace, Child, God’s stupendous sign,

Down to earth child, Star of stars that shine,


This year, this year, let the day arrive

when Christmas comes for everyone, everyone alive.


Child of Bethlehem, our world is so mixed up, so torn apart, so broken by sin. Be born in us this year that we may be the signs of a world that is right side up. May Christmas come for everyone, this year. Amen.


Pastor Tom Greener

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