Monday, May 31, 2010

The Ultimate Sacrifice


Visit of Mary to Elizabeth
Luke 1:39-57 (NRSV)

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord."

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."
And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son.


Today is Memorial Day in the United States. It is a day set aside to remember all of those people, in military service, who gave their lives for the cause of freedom and to secure life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all of God's children.

After reading Mary's Song of Praise, I was struck by the words, "
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed..."

Indeed, we do call Mary "blessed," as we remember her as the mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave his life in service to humanity in order to attain the forgiveness of our sin, reconciliation with God and our eternal life.

On this Memorial Day, we rightly remember those people who died to defend our country; but, let us also remember The One who truly made the ultimate sacrifice in order to defend all of humanity from the power of sin, death, and the grave--His Name is JESUS!

When Elizabeth heard Mary at her door, she was filled with the Holy Spirit. Once filled, she correctly bore witness to The Truth that Jesus is Lord.

On this day, I pray that we too will be filled with the Holy Spirit and that we will offer comfort those who mourn the loss of a beloved son, daughter, father, mother, sister, brother, or friend who died in combat. Let us share the sure and certain good news message that God offers blessing, comfort, and peace to all who mourn, as well as the blessed assurance that when we are in Christ, eternity awaits us.

Let us pray:

Dear God, thank you so much for all of those people who are peace makers and peace keepers throughout the earth. Please protect those who seek a just peace for all of your children and may the day soon arrive when the work of soldiers will no longer be necessary and the fullness of the angels' prophesy on Jesus' birthday will become manifest--PEACE ON EARTH AND GOOD WILL TOWARD ALL PEOPLE. We pray this in Jesus Name, Amen.


If you have questions about how to become a friend and follower of Jesus, please see the devotion entitled, “Come to Jesus” @

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