Mary's Song

Daily reading: Luke 1:26-55
Wednesday December 21, 2016

Focus passage:

46 Mary said,
“With all my heart I glorify the Lord!
47     In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my savior.

48 He has looked with favor on the low status of his servant.
    Look! From now on, everyone will consider me highly favored
49         because the mighty one has done great things for me.
Holy is his name.
50     He shows mercy to everyone,
        from one generation to the next,
        who honors him as God.
51 He has shown strength with his arm.
    He has scattered those with arrogant thoughts and proud inclinations.
52     He has pulled the powerful down from their thrones
        and lifted up the lowly.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
    and sent the rich away empty-handed.
54 He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,
        remembering his mercy,
55     just as he promised to our ancestors,
        to Abraham and to Abraham’s descendants forever.”


Mary’s song of praise comes from a long, long, longing that her people have shared in, as well as in a long tradition of women in the Bible who sing a song of praise to God when God calls upon them to be agents in God’s work. 

It acts, in part, as the answer to Isaiah 64, which begins with the words, “O that you would tear open the heavens and come down,
so that the mountains would quake at your presence.” 

Here Mary is affirming that God is active in the world and this activity is the great reversal. 
         
Mary the lowly servant has been looked on with favor, the proud are scattered, the powerful are brought down while the lowly are lifted up. 

The hungry get something to eat, while the rich are sent away empty. 

And finally, Israel, who had been subjected to God’s judgment, now receives God’s mercy.  In other words, God’s actions are not what we might expect. 

What we have here is a God who is concerned with the lowly, not just with the rulers.  Who in fact wants to make things right, not so that the poor can now become rich and the rich poor or so that the exploited can become the exploiters.
         
She sings what we who have encountered God already know,
that the poor need liberation and the rich do as well. 

Prayer: Come, Lord Jesus in our Advent waiting.  Amen.

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