Monday, December 19, 2016

Monday, December 19, 2016

Monday, December 19, 2016
Luke 1: 46b – 55

Mary's song of praise, commonly known as the Magnificat, is one of three beautiful canticles taken from Luke that have become an integral part of our Anglican liturgies.  It reflects a mood of absolute joy that seems to encompass Mary's entire being - body, mind, soul and spirit.  We also see her humility in response to this act of grace –  that she will bear the Messiah in fulfillment of God's covenant promise to Abraham in Genesis.  And what faith, from a woman who is well aware that she is a simple peasant girl with no social standing, to accept without question the pronouncement from
the Angel Gabriel.

Not only is it incredible that Mary, as a woman, is given the voice in this piece of scripture, but her message in the Magnificat is also counter-cultural.  She speaks of a God who, contrary to expectations, cares for and acts on behalf of the poor and down trodden, not the powerful or the rich. She speaks of a God who shows mercy, righting wrongs, and reversing injustices.  It is a message of social consciousness and concern and it is for us.

This beautiful canticle provides the overtone to the Gospel of Luke, foreshadowing the radical and controversial ministry of Jesus which is to come.  As we prepare for the celebration of the coming of the Christ child, how will you be moved to fully magnify God?  Can any of us even approach the depth of Mary's apparent understanding and faith?  Perhaps not.  But we can at least try.

- Sandi Austin

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