DECEMBER 16, 2018: Advent 3 (Lessons & Carols)
SCRIPTURE: Luke 1:26-38, 46-55
 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,  to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary.  And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”  But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be.  And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,  and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.  And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.  For nothing will be impossible with God.”  And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
 And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
 And 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 mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
 as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.” (ESV)