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serving jesus christ the king

December's Verse

I want to introduce you to a young girl, not that old, possibly about 14 or 15. She doesn’t come from a well off family, but she’s happy. The reason for her happiness is a young man. He’s noble, upright, honourable—and they’re engaged.

But her life has been turned upside-down. She’s pregnant. It’s the 1st century, and a deeply religious culture. There’ll be the shame of being pregnant before marriage and then the scorn poured on her when she explains, “It isn’t Joseph’s, this child came from God.” You can almost hear the laughter, the name-calling, the pained look in Joseph’s eyes. In human practical terms, Mary’s life had taken a severe downwards plunge. She could be stoned to death for adultery. At the very least she would be a social outcast forever.

Yet what do we see from this young girl? She sings—not an anguished lament for a lost childhood, but a song of praise. Surprisingly her song is not about her problems—it’s all about God, full of love and praise to God. Instead of turmoil, we see a song that reveals the spiritual strength of this amazing young girl.

The opening lines from her song are December’s verse on the 2009 calendar. The opening lines are startling,
“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.” (Luke 1:46)

Two things stand out here:

Firstly, although her life has been turned upside-down, Mary is thrilled. Why is that? She has grasped that the promised Rescuer, whose arrival has been waited on since the time of Adam & Eve, has come. At last he has arrived. The one to whom all the sacrifices, kings, prophets, rescuers—indeed the whole Old Testament—had pointed. The answer to the great problem of man’s guilt has arrived. Any wonder Mary is thrilled!

But the second thing we see is this: Mary, the one woman chosen out of millions, the extraordinary blessed one, acknowledges that she needs God to rescue her, to be her saviour. She knows that guilty people cannot stand in the presence of a holy God. But she also knows that there is hope, that God will rescue her and she has evidently asked him to do that for her—for she calls him “My Saviour”.

And if this wonderfully privileged girl needs a Saviour so do we. That’s what Christmas is about—the coming into the world of the Saviour—one who’ll rescue us if we ask him. Mary tells us that we all need a Saviour.

In Other News!
I want to give a mention to the Milford Inn’s Christmas Appeal this year. It’s about supplying presents to those children in our own community whose families are finding things tough. If you’re able to help out, drop in to the hotel and ask for Joanne. Well done to Joanne, Audrey and Caroline and all the staff at the hotel.

Mark Loughridge is the minister of Milford Reformed Presbyterian Church. He can be contacted on 074 9123961 or