Thank you for joining us through Long-Expected Jesus. As we enter the fourth week of Advent, we introduce the final theme, She is Chosen. We have provided the daily scripture passages, Sunday devotional and weekly prayer.

Sunday Scripture Reading: Luke 1:26–38
Additional Scripture Readings: 2 Samuel 7:1–11, 16; Psalm 89:1–4, 19–26; Romans 16:25–27


We talk so often about the end—about the inn and the shepherds in their fields and the baah-ing of the sheep drowned out by the cries of a newborn and the triumph of the skies and the choruses of angels. O, holy night.

But before any of this could take place, a young girl from a small town, already betrothed, was chosen. Before there could be a story of an inn without rooms and a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, there is the story of a simple Jewish girl with callused hands from long days of learning how to run a house, bake the bread, and make the clothing for the family she would soon have.

And there’s also the story of the terrifying moment when an angel appeared and her heart quaked—because she knew that the news the angel brought would change her world forever. In every way, large and small, the entire world would change.

Mary was not anything exceptional in her world. She didn’t come from a family with social standing or even a notable town. Instead, she was like you, or me. She was only a girl, doing her best to please her family, doing what was expected of her, preparing to marry a carpenter, to keep his house and raise their children.

And yet God chose her. Where the world sees ordinary, God sees a vessel for a plan’s fulfillment. Where we see human frailty or fear, God must see the greatest of strength. God did choose her—this young girl from a backwater town who was already betrothed. God chose her to carry the Son.

How frightening and awesome to be such a vessel, called by God, to do what sounds impossible, to boldly defy logic, cultural norms, and everything else you’ve lived up to your whole life. But that was exactly what young—nothing-exceptional, ordinary-as-homemade-clothing, dirt-under-her-fingernails, tremors-of-uncertainty-in-her-heart—Mary, did.

And the rest—is history.

—Melanie Haney


My soul glorifies the Lord 

and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 

for he has been mindful 

of the humble state of his servant. 

From now on all generations will call me blessed, 

for the Mighty One has done great things for me— 

holy is his name. 

His mercy extends to those who fear him, 

from generation to generation. 

He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; 

he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 

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 1:46b–55