Prepare to Listen. Light the pink candle and the first 2 purple candles. Be still with this reminder: The Lord’s mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
Prayerfully Read Luke 1:46-55 The Magnificat
46And Mary said,
‘My soul magnifies the Lord,
47and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
48for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
53he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
54He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’
“Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed,” except generations of Protestant Christians! We’ve avoided stories of Mary, except at Christmas in the children’s nativity play, where Mary stands as a mute statue holding the baby Jesus. We rarely hear sermons on Mary even though she appears in many stories in all four Gospels. We, and I mean Protestant Christians, no longer call Mary “blessed” and thus fail to pay adequate attention to her song here in Luke.
It’s a courageous song, and would have gotten Mary into trouble with the ruling elite, both Roman and Jew. As Taylor observed, she sang “about God’s defense of the defenseless, God’s rescue of the lowly, God’s upheaval of the proud and overthrow of those in power.” She sang that salvation through her son, Jesus, would bring deliverance to the most vulnerable, reversing the world order of power and weakness. No political or religious leader wanted to hear that then, and I’m not sure they want to hear it today. Mary knew that God was as committed as ever to God’s creation and about to do a new and shocking thing. But we rarely hear Mary’s words and fail to teach them to our children, keeping Mary a mute, obedient statue. It’s time we Protestants changed our view of Mary and called her blessed. After all, as the mother of our Lord, she is, by extension, also our mother.
Reread Mary’s song and notice her emphasis on God’s upside-down world, reversing the order of rich and poor, powerful and powerless.
Respond to Jesus
Thank you, Lord, for Mary and her deep insight into the scope of your salvation. Give me her courage today to speak up for the weak and powerless. Amen.
Live obediently. Be a blessing to the weak and vulnerable today.
 B. B. Taylor. Always a Guest. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press. 2020, p. 129.