Early in her pregnancy, Mary visits her relative Elizabeth, also miraculously with child. Elizabeth is full of excitement about Mary’s pregnancy, saying “Blessed are you and blessed is the fruit of your womb” (verse 42). Mary responds with the song that we call the Magnificat because Mary says that she “magnifies” or glorifies God. The Magnificat has traditionally been part of evening prayer services – an important clue that this is not just a pre-Christmas song.
What is striking about Mary’s song is how quickly she moves from the miracle God is working in her own life to a celebration of the world that she trusts God is bringing about. She sings of God’s mercy and God’s strength. She sings of a world characterized by equality rather than hierarchy, a world where some people aren’t seen as superior to other people, a world where the hungry are all fed. Above all, she sings of God’s deep commitment to God’s promises to God’s people.
This message is excerpted from “The songs of Advent” by Kathryn A. Kleinhans in the December 2017 Gather magazine. Today we commemorate Mary, Mother of Our Lord.
If you enjoy this resource, Donate Now.