Luke 1.39-45- (46-55)
It is just a visit with a relative, Mary, pregnant before she is married, heads to the hills to see Elizabeth, wife of the one of the priests. Elizabeth is pregnant as well and at the sound of the guest’s greeting, her fetus leaps in her.
Elizabeth cries out, and exclaims (ok, how did she know already that Mary was go give birth to God’s own son, the saviour of the universe, but it’s a story, so not all of it is going to make all the logical and logistical sense of an historical account. This is an account of the purpose of God. So of course Elizabeth knows Mary’s son will be their saviour!)
Surprise at Jesus’ visit
Elizabeth cries out and exclaims that Mary is blessed among women and her son is blessed as well. Elizabeth is more than a bit astounded, that Mary, the mother of her Lord, has come to visit her!
We ought to be so surprised that Jesus comes to us, every day, every minute. For what do we deserve but God’s condemnation!
Or we are so used to Jesus’ presence with us that we behave like we are bored with it, as if nothing significant were to come of God standing with us, face to face, shoulder to shoulder. Gracing us with God’s presence, promising us that all will be well … even when there is nothing that is well at all to be seen or known. For when God is with us, already all things are well, all manner of things are well.
For Elizabeth understands that Jesus (Joshua in Hebrew, meaning saviour) is indeed God’s son, our saviour; this infant is the boy that will grow to be the man who will save us all …
No More Scapegoating
And make it obvious that we do not need to sacrifice anyone else anymore; no more scapegoating.
All this is astounding
Sings a song.
But as all songs of faith well composed and well sung
Not just that God inspires us to revolve, to repent, to turn about and follow Jesus, instead of walking our own way and demanding that God follow us.
This is revolutionary, as in
More than a few oppressive rulers have prohibited the use of this song.
The start is fitting.
Mary’s spirit rejoices. What better way to start singing of God’s presence in our lives.
The Lowly … Good News
Mary realizes that God has taken a turn from power to the powerless.
God looks to the lowly servant, Mary, caught pregnant before being married.
And she expects to be called great, not for what she has done, but for what God has done to her.
This God is not the God of judgment that so many people fear without love. This is the God of mercy from generation to generation.
God has great strength, and chooses to show it …
The mighty, the other kind of Good News
But not to build up or sustain those with power and wealth, and pride,
But to scatter them with their thoughts of how great they are, thoughts so mistaken that they are just plain foolish, even if they carry their own day, or seeming carry the day until God scatters their thoughts and meager accomplishments as if they were seeds of weeds that are despised by all who see them grow.
The rulers are replaced.
And this causes many unjust rulers to prohibit, under severe punishment, the singing or use of this song.
But to whom does God go?
Or from our perspective, to whom does God come?
God lifts up the lowly.
God feeds the hungry, not just cheap food, but the good stuff, the nourishing food that makes for health and good life.
God sends away empty handed.
This revolution changes the power and privilege.
And those of us caught in the bottom of injustice
Can sing loudly, for all to hear,
That God has come,
In Mary’s and Elizabeth’s day to Israel, today to us, whoever and where ever we are.
God comes to us keeping the promises he made to Abraham, for we also are
By grace alone
Among Abrahams’ descendants
God claims us, and makes us worthy of good food, good life, fair treatment, and great hope.
Using the Magnificant can make life changed, can change life, can bring us down if we are powerful, proud, and wealthy.
But it brings up those of us who are humble out of necessity and position, wise but poor,
Who must count on God’s grace to survive each day.
For our good honest labour has not netted us luxury and privilege, so that we can rest instead of working to survive the
Whatever they are:
Enemies that want vengeance for things we never did.
Enemies that know nothing of who we are, except that they hate us and want us dead.
Coworkers who are corrupt, or abusive, or mean, or haughty and proud, self-righteous and judgmental, and entitled.
Disappearing fish, species, glaciers, clean water, honest people, friends … children
Cancer and other life taking diseases
Bad Genes and simply dirty jeans
Parents who need more than we can give, children who are almost on their own.
Grandchildren who cannot seem to live a life that is not confused and desperately chaotic.
Spouses who abuse and take everything we have to give and more.
Institutions that are corrupt and decaying, destroying people caught in their downward spiral.
Or plain Evil, in so many guises, tempting us to be God, and to try (futilely) to make our own lives good enough for God.
Save us we cry, Save us we sing.
From all this we need to be saved, for we cannot save ourselves, so we cry
Restore us, O God. Let your face shine upon us, and we shall be saved.