Scripture Text: Luke 1:45-55
And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord,and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.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 powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
It’s called The Magnificat or the Song of Mary. It is a young girl’s realization that life will never be the same again, her affirmation that God has called her to be a part of something that will turn the world upside down. Our Christian tradition has probably overly-domesticated the image of Mary a bit, giving her characteristics of one who is young and meek and downtrodden, a scared young girl that became the mother of Christ. But these words are not meek; in fact, they are downright radical for the first century and for us today. It is a call to take those who are on top–the rich, the haughty, the successful, the powerful and bring them down. It is a call to elevate those who are poor, hungry, the very bottom of our society. Who are we kidding? In our burgeoning political climate, this is NOT the way to get elected. This is NOT the way to gain support. This is anything but politically correct. In fact, this is a call to revolution. I’m betting these words will not show up in any of the 584 presidential debates (doesn’t it seem like there are about that many?) between now and next November.
E. Stanley Jones calls The Magnificat, “the most revolutionary document in the world”. It is said that this document terrorized the Russian Czars. In fact, for a time during the 1980’s, the government of Guatemala banned its public recitation. After all, if someone actually paid attention to this stuff, who knows what could happen? Why, this might be downright dangerous to our acceptable of way life!You know, I think that’s the point. We are called to DO something. We are called to pay attention. We are called to no longer accept society’s “acceptable” way of life. The Christian movement did not begin as a comfortable and affirming religious tradition of the majority. Just like we have domesticated and calmed our image of Mary, we have done the same with our tradition. You see, Christianity began as a revolution, a revolution against the way the world rewards money and status and power, against the way the world leaves behind those that do not have the resources to care for themselves, and against the way the world sets up standards and rules for the way things should be. It is a revolution against a world that has lost its sense of grace and compassion and justice. It is a revolution that followed the Way of Christ. After all, if someone actually paid attention to this stuff, who knows what could happen?
In this Season of Advent, we are becoming more and more aware of the mystery of God’s Presence and God’s Love that is even now breaking into our way of being. God With Us, Emmanuel, was not born into our little world to tell us what a stupendous job we are doing! God came, born as one of us, to show us the Way to something different, to call us into revolution. Where are you now? How full do you feel today? How can you be ready to birth God into your life when you are so full of this world?
In this season of Advent, give yourself the gift of answering the call to revolution, of being hungry enough to be filled with God.
Grace and Peace,