2019 Advent Devotional: Thurs, 12/19

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Scripture: Luke 1:46-55

The scripture, whether it is Mary’s Song of Praise or Elizabeth’s, is beautiful and uplifting. Personally, I gave birth to my children in a foreign country with doctors who did not speak English, which was rather hard. How difficult it must have been for the mother of Jesus, far away from home and family. God’s mercy and blessings gave the family strength.

While I attend the United Protestant Church when in France, this also made me remember serving the Catholic Church there. Every year on the 15th of August, all Catholics celebrate Assumption, a celebration of Mary and her devotion. I, as the only Protestant in town, helped decorate baskets to carry brioche to the Grotto of Saint Mary, where the bread is blessed by a local priest, followed by a procession back to the church while singing Ave Maria. After mass, the basket carriers, me included, handed out bits of brioche to all those attending, then everyone goes next door to the school playground for a friendship drink and takes home the blessed brioche that they have ordered to share at home with family and friends.

A celebration in a church which has only 3 services a year, with more than 100 people present out of a population of less than 350. The joy and friendship, acceptance and sharing are wonderful and quite spiritual.

Mary’s song says God has filled the hungry with good things. When we can share our faith in God with people around the world and of different faiths, I believe this is part of the Good Things!

Prayer: God of all good things, of sharing and of mercy, may we never forget how fortunate we are to have friends, family and neighbors with whom we can share our love and devotion. Amen

~Glenna Briant