God is my conscience, Jesus lives in my heart… this blog is about what I see, what I think, what I do and how I serve God
“My Soul Magnifies the Lord…”; From the Desk of Pastor Asher; Thinking About the Season of Advent
17 December 2014Posted by on
“My soul magnifies the Lord…” (The Holy Mother in Luke 1:46b, ESV).
The Gospel of Luke 1:46b-55 records Mary’s song of praise (these verses are also known as The Magnificat). It is a glimpse into Mary’s experience and understanding of how God interacts with the faithful like you and I. God “has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant” when choosing an earthly mother for the Messiah, rather than selecting a woman of prominence (1:48 NRSV). The Lord “has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts,” rather than honoring them (1:51). God “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” (1:52-53). Mary asserts that God’s values are countercultural; her personal experience of God confirms that understanding. Her song parallels the grind and struggles of daily life with the resilience of hope rooted in faith.
The Magnificat challenges us to think what it means to wait for God in a broken world and in a time when God’s promise of redemption is met by the despair of the poor and the hungry, the greed of those who exploit others, and the rage of those who commit violence.
Mary’s song challenges me because I tend to be all the things that she asserts God brought down. While I am not a prince, I like to be in a position of authority and influence. While I do not think of myself as prideful, humility does not come easily. While I do not consider myself rich, because of my background and travels I am well aware that we are blessed to live in one of the wealthiest countries on Earth. The Magnificat challenges me to think about what the Advent (the Incarnation 2000 years ago and the Second Coming sometimes in the future) means for all of us in a world filled with struggles and difficult choices. Mary’s song of faith and praise is a beacon of hope and a call to action for those seeking to honor God in the midst of suffering and conflicts of daily life.
Because of all that, Mary’s song is unnerving and unsettling to me. It challenges me to think and to reflect on my values and goals. Mary’s song reminds us that we are called to serve God by serving others as an extension of God’s love and mercy towards us. Mary’s song challenges us to be the best versions of what God created each of us to be.
In the final days before Christmas, it is easy to get caught up in the busyness of the season. The Magnificat is about what we believe to be right, true and beautiful and how our lives reflect that faith.
How does your soul magnifies the Lord this Advent and, soon to be, Christmas season?