Dashing to Others with Hope


Luke 1:46-55


Christmas can become a time when we are concerned only about receiving, but giving is where we find the true meaning of season. This is where a second type of dashing comes in. We have the ability to see the needs that exist in our communities, and God calls us to dash to others with a message of hope. Mary was an agent of change who understood what it meant to give to others. When we are agents of change, we infuse a little more hope into this world.

Bulletin cover/worship slides:

If you are using our worship resources, use the bulletin cover and worship slides that say, “Focus on comforting others,” with the image of the person under the bridge. Additional resources here!

Scripture thoughts:

We compared last week's Scripture to a pump-up song, but this Scripture actually is a song. We commonly refer to these verses as Mary’s song of praise. John Wesley believed that work among the poor was a means of grace. When we do acts that are beacons of hope, God – not we – do the action. Mary realized how much God had done for her. She could not help but acknowledge God for these great things. Wesley says this about verse 47,

“And she rejoiced in hope of salvation through faith in him, which is a blessing common to all true believers, more than in being his mother after the flesh, which was an honour peculiar to her. And certainly she had the same reason to rejoice in God her saviour that we have: because he had regarded the low estate of his handmaid, in like manner as he regarded our low estate; and vouchsafed to come and save her and us, when we were reduced to the lowest estate of sin and misery.”(1)

We are all on equal footing when it comes to the hope of salvation.

Mary places us in the same category. Probably, sometime in our lives, we can relate to feeling regarded as “being in a low estate.” A heart for service directly connects to the way we see others. Mary understood God’s concern for the lowly, hungry and disadvantaged because she knew what it meant to be put in that category. This was a turning point for Mary. By doing this ultimate act of service, she became the servant, instead of the one others serve. The hope in this is that the two are interchangeable. One minute we need service, and the next minute we serve.


This week continues with the idea of dashing. The specific task is about helping your congregation to encompass the spirit of service. This week we encourage your congregation to do an actual service project. They can do the project anytime during Advent. Use this week to talk about how that service project transforms spaces and lives. If you collect something to give to others, talk about what it will do for recipients. It is about how we enter into the work that Mary is singing about in this Scripture. We invite you to evaluate the needs of your community and see where others need to be comforted in some way this season. Get creative and invite your mission coordinators to brainstorm with you. Encourage people to give with you. Set the example for your community and make it a “we together” effort.

“There are a lot of ‘big’ problems that, lowly as we are, we cannot dare to solve. But the message of the Magnificat is that we don’t have to solve them. We need only to follow our merciful and Mighty God who comes among us in the tiniest, most imperceptible of ways, favoring the small, the weak, the lowly, and promising faithfulness from generation to generation.”(2) Everyone needs a week to remember what it means to be a servant and have a servant heart. This week you could invite people to share what serving has meant in their life or how they have dashed to comfort others during the season. You could also invite someone to speak about a point in life when he or she needed hope and someone dashed to offer comfort. This Scripture in Luke is beautiful because it is Mary’s personal story, unfolding right before our eyes. Your congregation has beautiful stories just waiting to unfold. Think about how you can use people’s narratives in your worship service.

Advent candle reading: Hope

Mary delivered hope to all of us with the birth of Christ. We light this candle to remind us of that hope and to know we all can deliver hope is some way. When we serve others, we provide hope to the ones we serve and to us as servants. Let us be beacons of hope as we dash to comfort others this season. 

1 Wesley, John. "From Wesley's Notes (1703-1791)."

2 Allen, Rev. Amy. "The Politics of Luke 1:39-45," Political Theology, 2012

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