My song today, is Mary’s song

The Visitation in the Book of Hours of the Duc...

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This is the season of ADVENT.
Today, I want to focus on Mary’s Song (also called the Magnificat) from Luke 1:46-55.

When I first read this, as a kid, I thought, “Wow, Mary’s getting all charismatic…” I wondered if she would be dancing, or waving her hands, or twirling a flag. Would Elizabeth be worrying about getting poked in the eye?

But today, I rejoice, because I see so much better that God provides. I notice that in this Spirit-filled moment of joy, Mary gets what God is all about. She realizes what God is like, and what he does for people. She comprehends that God remembers (mind you, this does not mean God recalls, like finding a lost memory, but this specific term “remember” connotes that God “keeps in the front of his mind”).

God helps the ignoble Mary’s of the world, and will pick them to play the big parts. [Probably the least likely to be important was an impoverished, young, teenaged girl, from a small hill billy mountain village in the Middle East, right?]

The Magnificat speaks to me personally today, because I feel blessed; and perhaps it will be meaningful for you today. 

I hope you share your thoughts with us today.

46“My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name. 50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. 51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful 55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”

It seems God has a weak spot for the underdogs of the world.

5 responses to “My song today, is Mary’s song

  1. It seems God has a weak spot for the underdogs of the world.


    I’ve come to know that what I know can keep me from what I need to know if I don’t remain a novice in Him. The “experts” have settled on laws and reject the new-thing that may come along. God uses novices. Experts tend think they are more qualified for God to use them. 😉

  2. Lisa – Great post, as always. It is ironic that we know this song by its classy Latin title when, in fact, Mary would never have sung it in Latin, first of all because she wouldn’t have known it, and secondly because you don’t sing protest songs in the language of the empire! Perhaps the best known Magnificats are those from Claudio Monteverdi’s “Vespers for the Blessed Virgin,” or the extended setting by Johann Sebastian Bach. In the same vein, many other “classical” composers such as Vivaldi and Rachmaninoff have set extended versions for orchestra, chorus, and solos. But the Magnificat is more Bob Dylan than Sebasitan Bach, more Loretta Lynn than Monteverdi. Mary is nothing but north Galilean trailor trash, another unwed mother from a small town. She improvised the lyrics from verses she’d learned in Vacation Bible School and set them to the tune of a country/western song she’d heard on the radio or, more accurately, a wild folk dance dune sung at a harvest festival or the rhythm of a work-song she and other women sang as they hauled in sheaves of grain and beat them out on the threshing floor. “The Magnificat’s message is so subversive that for a period during the 1980’s the government of Guatemala banned its public recitation.” – Kathleen Norris, “Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith.” This is a song to be sung to out-of-tune guitars played by hold-over hippies taunting automobile company executives as they leave Congressional hearings to catch their private jets back to Detroit. This is a poem to be chanted by picketing protestors as Wall Street hot-shots depart for luxury cruises after receiving a multi-billion dollar bailout of their failed banks! The message of Advent is not, “God bless us, every one,” but “Hold on to your butt!”

    • As usual, Doug, your comments edify. Really, brilliant.

      I never thought of Mary as a hippie, but I might from now on. Mostly, because it’s just plain cool.

      Go Mary. It’s your Birthday. Go Mary. It’s your Birthday!

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