“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my savior…” – Mary the Mother of Jesus

Luke 1:46b-55Isaiah 35:1-10James 5:7-10Matthew 11:2-11

Mary and ElizabethThe Magnificat 
is Mary’s song. She sings it after she is visited by her cousin Elizabeth, herself pregnant with John the Baptist. The song fits perfectly into the prophetic tradition of Isaiah, Micah, and others. Imagine the confidence of this girl, perhaps as young as thirteen and scandalously pregnant, who shouts out:

…he [God] has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly.

It’s not often that we think of Mary as a prophet. She certainly doesn’t write as much as Isaiah, nor does she wander in the desert eating strange food and calling all to repent like John the Baptist, but she does proclaim God’s message powerfully, profoundly, and with complete confidence. Among her many titles are “the Mother of God”, “Theotokos”, “Blessed”, and we should also add, Mary the Prophet. Her story belongs not only with Christmas and the birth of Jesus but also with Advent as she anticipates his arrival. Her prophecy demands a hearing, calling on God to bring justice to those like her, on the bottom of the heap.

Collect for the 3rd Sunday of Advent:

Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and forever. Amen.