[#pictureAdvent] December 20: BLESSED

18 Dec 20 Blessed-01.jpg

By Andrew Jordan
Belmont United Methodist Church
Nashville, TN

First, read Luke 1:46-48

When was the last time you did something with ALL your heart? Have you ever felt something in the depths of who you are? Something that made you stop in awe and wonder at all that is happening around you … something that made you feel blessed? 

When I try to answer these questions, I can only come up with a handful of moments in my life where I felt things in the “depths of who I am.” My daughter is young enough where I can still say I’m a new dad. There have certainly been moments with her where I’ve been overwhelmed by the seemingly simple things like watching her try new things and learn new words. I’ve even felt it a couple of times while rocking her back to sleep at 2:00 in the morning.

But there’s one moment that stands out to me and it has nothing to do with her. It was about a year ago. We have a few rose bushes in our front yard. As I was leaving for work one crisp Fall morning, I stopped and looked at the flowers. There was one rose in particular that drew my attention, a freshly opened bud that sparkled with hundreds of tiny dew drops. It was such a simple thing, but in that moment I was blown away with the vibrancy and beauty of the world around us. In that moment with the roses, I rejoiced. 

During my rejoicing with the roses, and similar moments with our daughter, there was a thought of “who am I that I should get to experience this?” I’m just an average person; who am I that something so wonderful is here for me? But it was happening, whether I felt deserving of the experience or not. 

I imagine Mary may have felt similarly. “What? Me? I’m just a humble servant of God.” But while we may not always believe we’re worthy, God believes we are. God seems to make a habit of looking favorably upon those we’d least expect. God’s grace and love is given to all of creation. Each of us is blessed. God looks favorably upon YOU. What a reason to rejoice! 

Prayer: Loving God, give us the confidence to know that you look favorably upon us. May we feel your love in the depths of who we are, and rejoice with all our hearts. Amen.

Discussion/Reflection Questions

1. Describe a time that you felt something in the depths of who you are? 
2. In your opinion, what does it mean to be blessed? How does being blessed help us be better Christians to our neighbors?
3. How can we help instill the confidence in those around us, especially those in need, to understand that they are blessed and favored by God?