Love and Mercy Forever Saturday, December 11, 2021
And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, 47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; 49for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
The theme for our Advent Devotional this year is “All Earth is Hopeful.” The past few years our world, country, community and even our church have been through many challenges. We hoped the pandemic would end quickly. We hoped schools would return to normal. We hoped we could return to church in person. We hoped for NORMALCY again.
In Luke 1:46-55, Mary praises the Lord and rejoices in her God and Savior. Generation after generation would remember her forever. She said His mercy will go on from generation to generation to all who honor, love and respect God. She also said he has not forgotten his promise to be merciful forever. As I read the scripture I kept hearing, “from generation to generation” and his promise of mercy forever. This should give all the earth hope. The generation to generation part reminds me of my childhood church, Messiah Lutheran Church on Lafayette St. in Salisbury.
My Paw Paw Cline, William Grady Cline, was a Carpenter and helped build Messiah. He was also a charter member.
His generation started at Messiah and my little mama, Mary Katherine, and many of my aunts and uncles attended Messiah. My brother and I grew up there along with lots of our cousins. I then attended another Lutheran Church with my husband and our family and my brother attended a Lutheran Church with his wife and family. Our children attend church and our son is a Lutheran Minister. My niece and her family attend St. John’s. Do you see where I’m going with this? Generation after generation, just from my family, is receiving God’s mercy forever just as Mary said.
So, while we have struggled for things to be the way they were, we have learned to pivot and worship online and attend Bible Study via Zoom meetings, wear a mask and smile with our eyes, pray diligently for each other in sickness, appreciate what a REAL hug or handshake feels like. No, it’s NOT the same but God is in the midst of it all forever. His love and mercy is forever…and THAT should make All the Earth Hopeful.
Father God, we thank you for every opportunity to worship you no matter where it is. We are thankful for all your mercies that go on from generation to generation….and All the Earth is Hopeful. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
St. John’s Lutheran Church, Salisbury, NC
This devotional is a joint project between Christmas Lutheran (Bethlehem) and St. John’s (Salisbury, NC).