Luke 1:46-55 – The Third Sunday of Advent – for Sunday, December 11, 2016
â€œJust as he promised to our ancestors, to Abraham and to Abrahamâ€™s descendants . . .â€ (Luke 1:55)
I am Jewish.
I am Christian.
I am Abrahamâ€™s descendant.
In Lukeâ€™s Gospel, Maryâ€™s anticipation of giving birth to a child who would scatter â€œthose with arrogant thoughts and proud inclinationsâ€ prompted her to sing a song of divine justice. This section of the Gospel is commonly called the Magnificat. This child would, because it was and is and forever will be the nature of Godâ€™s magnificence, pull â€œthe powerful down from their thronesâ€ while uplifting â€œthe lowly.â€
As nearly everyone with any knowledge of the Bible knows, Maryâ€™s song echoed Hannahâ€™s prayer in I Samuel 2:1-10. The Magnificat, however and whenever and even if they were verses spoken by Mary, were not completely unique to her. And yet they were. Like a bright warning from a lighthouse cast into the seas for passing ships, Maryâ€™s words illuminate Godâ€™s deepest desires for every generation. Like a trainâ€™s whistle piercing the night when it rumbles through the city, Maryâ€™s words disturb those who have become complacent . . . not just long ago, but here and now.
The nature of the God of Abrahamâ€”the monotheistic, majestic God of Jews and Christians and Muslimsâ€”is forever oriented toward justice. Toward mercy. Toward protecting the poor. Toward hope. Toward sending the rich away empty-handed. Continue reading →