We lit our 3rd advent candle in celebration of God’s mercy to us in Christ Jesus. In Luke 1, mercy is definitely a theme that continues to shine through…these were my thoughts to our family…
1. God’s Mercy is upon those who fear Him. (Luke 1:50)
And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. (quoted from Psalm 103:17)
His use of Mary, a humble girl to accomplish this amazing act displays the pouring out of His mercy upon those who are unable to boast in their own characteristics. This conception was rooted in God’s mercy, and Mary was His vessel.
2. He has chosen Israel because of His mercy. (Luke 1:54)
He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy…
- Here Mary recounts all that God has done for his chosen people (he has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart, He has brought down rulers from their thrones and has exalted those who were humble, He has filled the hungry with good things, and sent away the rich empty handed; and the culmination of that mercy is the conception of Jesus. Mary has become theotokos the God-bearer.
3. He showed mercy in causing Elizabeth to conceive and give birth to John. (Luke 1:58)
And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.
- She was barren! The mercy of God caused her to become pregnant and give birth to the forerunner of the Gospel! MERCY PREVAILS!
- We shouldseparateerate this act of God from all others! Mom’s, teach your daughters that babies come from God…they are not accidents, suprises, or even planned events. They are sheer acts of God’s mercy.
4. He showed mercy in Christ to our fathers by remembering His promise. (Luke 1:72) to show the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant…
- God keeps His promises. This is very helpful for children to see. We looked back at Genesis 12:3 and reflected on the promises God is keeping for us in Jesus. Over and over in Genesis we see “your descendant will be blessed or the world will be blessed through your seed.” That seed (singular by the way) is Jesus!
5. He showed mercy in bringing sinners from death to life in Christ. (Luke 1:78)
because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high…
- Verse 78 is referring to the prophesy of John the Baptist by Zacharia. He will be the prophet of the Most High, he will go before the Lord to prepare His ways, to give to His people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins. Mercy! Mercy! Mercy!
- This is all because of the tender mercy of our God who lets the sun shine upon our faces each day. This sun shine especially reminds us of those who are in spiritual darkness who are brought into light and life through Christ (verse 79).
I read Mighty Mercy, by John Piper. (probably not the best for a 2 year old, but my 7 year old caught on to some crucial words in the rhyming scheme.)
After this, we all took turns lighting the previous candles and the “mercy candle.” We then sang “O Come all Ye Faithful”