Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
VISITATION OF MARY TO ELIZABETH
V 2 - “I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.”
We don’t know who wrote Psalm 146 or when it is written. Many think it was written after the Babylonian exile. God’s temple in Jerusalem was destroyed 600 years before Jesus came to the earth. But 70 years after the army of Babylon destroyed it, the Jews built it again. They made the book of Psalms at this time to use in the new temple. Psalm 146 opens a collection of five Hallelujah Psalms at the end of the book of Psalms. It celebrates the good news that in the face of human morality, God remains trustworthy.
We can easily observe a close connection between God’s deeds praised here in Psalm 146 and God’s deeds praised by Mary of Nazareth. Having learned from the angel that she will give birth to the son of God, Mary hurries to visit her pregnant relative Elizabeth in the hill country. Mary sings a joyful song after she was received by Elizabeth. When Mary sings her Magnificat, it resonates with this great Psalm. Psalm 146 is considered the Magnificat of the Old Testament.
It not only indicates God’s special heart for the poor and powerless, but also anticipates the day when the Messiah will come and overturn the prevailing structures of power and privilege. He will come and uphold the cause of the oppressed and give food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free…. And gives the sight to the blind. It tells us not to trust in the human leaders. In man, there is no help in times of mental depression, in the night of the conviction of sin, during the present time of the Pandemic or in the hour of death. Those who trust in God shall never be ashamed or confounded. God’s purpose of mercy endures throughout all generations. The psalmist encourages us to put confidence in God. Living in a broken world where disappointment, anger and injustice remain all too common, we are assured that God’s kingdom is different. Life long praise and trust are reserved for the Lord alone.
God of love and grace, we thank you for your care. Grant us your grace to praise and trust you always. Open our eyes that we may see those for whom you may also care and use us to accomplish your will whatever that may be. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
Kings and presidents struggle to be remembered well, but God reached down to a simple girl in Nazareth and elevated her to a place of greatness. Holy is His name!
Mary Samuel, St. Thomas MTC, NY
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church