December 16

 

And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;  Luke 1:46-48

 

Mary had total confidence that God was her Savior, even though she couldn’t tell that this was true by seeing or feeling it.  Mary was able to fully trust God because the Lord had placed this faith inside of her.

Mary put things in the right order in this verse.  First, she called her Lord.  Next, she called him her Savior.  Then she proclaimed what God had done.  By doing his, she teaches us to love and praise God for who he is.  She shows us the right place to start.  We shouldn’t begin our prayers by selfishly asking what God can do for us. Mary’s example teaches us to love and praise God for no other reason than his goodness.  We should find joy and pleasure in who he is.  This is an exalted, pure, and tender way of loving and praising God.  It shows us Mary’s extraordinary and tender spirit.

By contrast, some people are only parasites, always expecting to get things from God.  They don’t love or praise God because he is good.  They’re only concerned about how good God is to them, how much they feel his goodness, and how many good things they receive from him.  The moment he hides his face and withdraws his goodness, leaving them in misery without anything, they stop loving and praising him.  They no longer love and praise the goodness that they now can’t see or feel.  By doing this, they prove that they don’t find joy in God, their Savior.  They don’t love or praise the goodness when it’s hidden in God.  They find much more joy in their salvation than in their Savior, in the gift than in the Giver, and in the creature than in the Creator.

 

 

Martin Luther’s 95 Theses

 

95 Theses are reproduced in their entirety, with an introduction and explanatory notes to aid readers in discerning the significance of Luther’s call to reformation.

The Ninety-Five Theses is a text that everyone knows, most refer to, but few actually read, writes Stephen Nichols. Nevertheless, it is such a crucial text that it deserves to be read widely. Toward that end, Nichols has prepared this edition with an illuminating introduction, explanatory notes, and several illustrations. Martin Luther has left a legacy that continues to enrich the church through his writings. . ., writes Nichols. All of this may be traced back to the last day in October 1517 and the nailing of the Ninety-Five Theses to the church door.

Continue Reading on