Hebrews 12:1 NIV

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,

John 8:34 NIV

34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.

Luke 4:14-21 NIV

14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. 16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

1 John 3:7-8 NIV

7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.

Mindsets that will keep you in bondage:
Spiritual Stockholm Syndrome

Romans 6:23 NIV

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In Your Presence, God, we light the third candle of Advent.

Today we hear the faith of Mary prophetically singing:

“He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.  He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.  He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.” (Luke 1:52-55)

Although her calling was difficult, Mary heard God’s voice and said yes. Then the Spirit evoked within her a song of hope, declaring her Child would bring down systems of injustice and break chains of oppression. This Advent, we also raise our voices in response to God’s call:

Liberating God, like Mary, visit us and fill us with your Spirit. Bring your good news to life within us. Give us the courage to carry the light of Jesus into the injustices and shadows of this dark world. Amen.

This Week

What do you think was going through Mary’s mind as the Spirit sang this song through her? Looking through the Gospels, how do you see Jesus liberating people? How has Jesus freed you? How do you see Jesus bringing freedom to people today? How might He want you to participate in this work with Him?

Spend time on the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Initiative (NOVA-HTI) website:
Pray for the victims of trafficking, and consider how you can get involved as a family.