Saturday 10th November Matthew Prevett 

When out of poverty is born
a dream that will not die,
and landless, weary folk find strength
to stand with heads held high,
it’s then we learn from those who wait
to greet the promised day,
‘The Lord is coming; don’t lose heart.
Be blest: prepare the way!’

When people wander far from God,
forget to share their bread,
they find their wealth an empty thing,
their spirits are not fed.
For only just and tender love
the hungry soul will stay.
And so God’s prophets echo still
‘Be blest: prepare the way!’

When God took flesh and came to earth,
the world turned upside down,
and in the strength of woman’s faith
the Word of Life was born.
She knew that God would raise the low,
it pleased her to obey.
Rejoice with Mary in the call,
‘Be blest: prepare the way!

Kathy Galloway is a Church of Scotland minister and was the first woman to be elected to lead the Iona Community.  The hymn can be found in Church Hymnary 4 and is set to the lovely English folk tune Kingsfold which can be heard here.

And Mary said,

‘My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.
   Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
   and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him
   from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
   he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
   and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
   and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
   in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
   to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’


Mary: rejoicer; proclaimer; servant.

Mary rejoiced in God’s presence in her life, as a recipient of a great gift from God, from the very beginning of her experience.

Around the world, we are faced with people who have many reasons not to rejoice in God. Those who are poor and landless, those who do not appear to have great gifts, those who are still waiting for the presence of God to become real.

Although Advent may be a time of waiting, we also need to reconnect with the place of rejoicing that can affirm and strengthen our faith in challenging circumstances.

Mary: rejoicer; proclaimer; servant.

In telling of God’s works, Mary proclaimed all that God does and about God’s nature: God shows mercy; God shows strength to transform the proud; God has realigned power in unjust systems; God has filled the hungry.

Mary’s proclamation of God’s action sits in stark contrast to our response: as people, we wander from God; we forget to share our bread; we dwell in our riches.

If we wish to proclaim all that God does for us, we also need to live that proclamation in our lives and in our communities.

Mary: rejoicer; proclaimer; servant.

Mary was open to all that God would do with and through her.

We can find that God’s work in our lives turns our world upside down. We hear God speak to us in ways that surprise and with tasks we are uncertain we can fulfil.

In listening for God, we also need to be responsive to the call upon our life to react, to be transformed, and to rejoice in whatever God calls us to do.

My soul magnifies –
my spirit rejoices in you, God my Saviour.
You call us to be just to the poor and weak.
You ask much of us.
Help us to rejoice, proclaim and serve as Mary did,
and help us to hear you, and to respond. Amen.

Today’s Writer

The Rev’d Dr Matthew Prevett, Minister, St Andrew’s URC, Monkseaton, and Northern Synod

Bible Version


New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Bible: Anglicised Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved