Apr 13

Rev Gav


Luke 1:50. Veneration means to do some self-examination and to humbly, respect, honour and praise our God.

Luke 1:50

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town 40 where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. 41 At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

42 Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. 43 Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? 44 When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. 45 You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.”

The Magnificat: Mary’s Song of Praise

46 Mary responded,

“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
47     How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
48 For he took notice of his lowly servant girl,
    and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
49 For the Mighty One is holy,
    and he has done great things for me.
50 He shows mercy from generation to generation
    to all who fear him.

51 His mighty arm has done tremendous things!
    He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.
52 He has brought down princes from their thrones
    and exalted the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
    and sent the rich away with empty hands.
54 He has helped his servant Israel
    and remembered to be merciful.
55 For he made this promise to our ancestors,
    to Abraham and his children forever.”

56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back to her own home.


There is a strange saying in the Bible, and it is talked about as a good thing. It is when people have ‘the fear of the Lord’. But it does not mean fear as in being afraid. It is more like an awesome respect with a tiny bit of healthy fear mixed in for good measure. Well, in this Bible passage ‘veneration’ means pretty much the same thing. Mary was saying that down through the generations, when people have had an awesome respect for God, God has shown them his mercy — his love and his favour.

Having an awesome or esteemed respect for God is a good thing, but what does it look like in practice? You see, God is not just interested in the words we say, but is interested in our hearts. It is not simply enough to say, “Awesome God, you’re great!” The question is, do we have an esteemed respect for God in our hearts? And to find out we have to do some self examination.

Self examination is the process of looking at our own lives with reference to God. It means getting a right perspective — that God is God and we are human. It means realising that God is all-powerful, almighty and all-loving, and that we are not all-powerful, almighty or all-loving. When we have the balance right in our thoughts or hearts, then our words and actions come good.

In our relationship with God — which is a two-way thing — we venerate God. We humbly, respect, honour and praise God, and at the same time God shows us mercy, love, kindness and generosity.


Today, spend a moment doing some self-examination. Reflect on the condition of your own heart. How can you venerate God?


Holy God
Help me get a right perspective
in my mind and my heart.
Help me grasp the awesomeness of who you are,
and the humility of who I am.
Let my words and actions give you
the respect and veneration that you are due.
This day and for ever.


What does it look like, in practice, to respect or venerate God?

How might there be a difference between respecting or venerating God individually (on your own) and corporately (as a church or group)?

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