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.
At this point in the Gospel of Luke, Mary knows that she is pregnant with a special child, but no one else in her life knew, yet. She went to visit her cousin Elizabeth, knowing that she would be a safe person to share this news with, and as soon as Mary enters her presence Elizabeth knows. Elizabeth cries out, revealing that she not only knows Mary is pregnant, but that she knows the child is special. Mary responds with this beautiful hymn, this grace filled declaration of all that God has done and will do through Jesus Christ.
Today I would like to share with you the words of another fellow young clergy woman. The Reverend Emmy Kegler has written an incredible poem titled "How the Grinch Learned the Magnificat." She takes the Grinch after he has learned his lesson about Christmas and has him discuss with Ciny Lou-Who the Magnificat and what it means. The rhyme scheme is near perfect, the theology impeccable, and it brings a spark of fun into the meaning of the Magnificat. Read this snippet below then click the link for the whole poem.
All the Whos down in Whovilled loved the Magnificat,
but the Grinch, still learning his lesson, did NOT.
"I'm confused," said the Grinch, "At first it seems sweet
That God looks at the lowly and thinks that they're neat.
"But Mary says God takes the strength from the strong,
And sends the rich away empty, and - well, that seems wrong.
I thought God loved us all, exactly the same.
Choosing some over others sounds like a shame."
Read the whole thing by clicking here.
God of stories, songs and poems, thank you for giving us these tools that begin to put your story of grace and love into words we can understand. May the meaning of the season seep into our hearts this Christmas, that we might be an active part of your righting of the world. Amen.