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Bursting with praise

Light for the Way seriesWe invite you to peek inside our weekly Light for the Way devotional series provided for staff.

By Campus Pastor Sherree Lane, Scandia Shores and The Farmstead

And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my

for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.

From now on all generations will call
me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great
things for me—

holy is his name.”
Luke 1:46-49, NIV

This begins a famous praise song from the Virgin Mary. We call it the Magnificat, taken from the Latin translation of “My soul magnifies the Lord.”

Music refreshes my soul. Earlier this Advent season, I enjoyed attending a Christmas concert at a local university. It was especially significant because the amount of Christmas season preparation was weighing upon me. It was not only the shopping and gifts, but also the sermon and service preparations.

So, I prayed for my own soul to be refreshed. Amid many deadlines, I needed my spirit lifted. And the music did just that. Few words can express how one feels when something of great meaning finds its way deep into one’s heart and mind just when it’s needed. The music was performed skillfully, yet so beautifully! The Christmas songs old and new, the lyrics from centuries past, and the new fresh arrangements—all renewed my soul.

What do you do when your soul needs invigorating? Not just your mind taken off the stress, but the depths of your soul refreshed. Do you take a walk in the snow and enjoy the beauty of it all? Do you sit in front of the fireplace and listen to your favorite songs?
Mary composed her own song and burst forth with this praise to God. Ponder what she was facing: an unexpected visit from an angel? If you say so! A miraculous conception? You’re out of your mind! What would her parents say? Would her friends believe her? Would Joseph still love her? Her engagement could end! Yet her song burst forth even though her life was turning upside down.
How could Mary embrace such a positive attitude when facing the unknown? How could she understand the significance of this event, young as she was? How could she view it as wonderful when her neighbors may belittle her?
Mary will always be admired for her extraordinary role in the birth of Christ. She saw this difficult event as a participation in God’s plan.
When the season weighs upon you, take time out and allow freshness to seep into your soul. Ponder the wonder of this baby born in a manger and find that “he refreshes [your] soul” (Psalm 23).

Pastor Sherree LanePastor Sherree Lane serves as campus pastor at The Farmstead of Andover, MN, and Scandia Shores of Shoreview, MN. An ordained minister, she has served congregations in Michigan and Minnesota, and in senior communities for 10 years. She enjoys making music at the piano and taking walks outdoors. Her niece, who lives with her while finishing a graduate program, brings much joy and laughter into her life.

The Light for the Way series provides staff with an examination of a biblical reading to deepen our focus on scripture. Thank you for engaging with this series as we seek wisdom through prayer and reflection as a Christian Ministry.

Find more in the Light for the Way series:

Born into crisis
Immanuel con nosotros
Get to know us: a Christian ministry
Introducing Light for the Way, a new devotional series

In addition to Light for the Way, you can find reflections, devotions, music and other resources on the Pastoral Care resources website

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