Mary’s Song of Praise (Luke 1:46-55)
46 And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50 His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
Yesterday’s devotion pointed us to this coming Sunday’s story of Hannah’s faithfulness and trust in God. In her response to God’s answer to her prayers, Hannah sings her song (1 Samuel 2:1-10). Centuries later, an expectant Mary responds to God with her own song of praise and promise.
Both women are surprised by their pregnancies, Hannah because she has been waiting for so long, and Mary because she hasn’t waited at all. Both women find delight in what has taken place. Both women see God at work in and through them and in this moment to tend to a world that is much bigger than either of them.
Mary’s magnificent song is clearly an echo of Hannah’s, invoking past triumphs to make claims on the present and for the future. God has been faithful, God is being faithful now and God will remain faithful in the future. And God’s concerns begin with the lowly, the poor, the hungry just as God will reorient that which concerns the proud, the strong, and the self-interested.
What stories from our past would we do well to echo in our lives today? Can you think of a time in your own history when all was right, or mostly was? What would it take to feel, let alone be, that same way again? How might God work through you to make this real?
God’s story reminds us again and again that God remains faithful. And that God works through all kinds of people to bring about God’s vision of a world that lifts up the lowly, cares for the poor, feeds the hungry, and welcomes the stranger. How will your song today be a refrain that reminds the world of this vision?
May peace come to you as you ponder. -Pastor Peter
God who answers prayer,
We are blessed and humbled that you hear us when we call to you in our time of deepest longing. Receive our gratitude for your listening ear. Amen.