Scripture Reading: Luke 1:45-56

“You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.”

Oh Mary, your soul praised the Lord and your spirit rejoiced. You were only a lowly servant girl, and from now on “all generations will call you blessed.” (paraphrased from NLT, verse 46 and 47) Elizabeth saw Mary’s servanthood, her trust in the Lord. Oh that others would see those qualities in us. And sweet little Mary writes a song of praise. Today, I invite you to do an exercise; write out Mary’s song of praise verses 46- 55. And then take the song and write it in your own words. Give Him praise today in all circumstances.

Nativity Fast

I have had a lot of questions about the “no oil”. Why do we need to abstain from oil? I thought the Mediterranean diet was good for us? After a little research, the answer is not real clear. Abstaining from olive oil in the Eastern Orthodox religion goes back to the early Christians. Their fasting was not something one could find a recipe for in the bible ; they did this to prepare their hearts for Christmas and Easter. The bible speaks of fasting as a method to bring us closer to God; a form of worship; a technique for preparing our hearts for better things. We are called to fast humbly according to Jesus, “And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting” ( Matthew 6: 16-17) . In regards to health, the verdict is still out. Forks over Knives and the ( organization promote eating without oil to repair endothelial tissue. For sure we know that no oil is really healthy; it’s purely fat and contains more calories than any other food when measuring in grams, according to Forks over Knives. Antidotally, not consuming oil this week has been life changing. I feel so much better. My waist feels thinner. The clothes are looser. And I definitely feel closer to God, preparing the day for this small sacrifice.

I’m a huge fan of Beth Moore and her ministry. Allow me to introduce you to her worship leader, Travis Cottrell. This song is a treasure.