… Mary, of whom Jesus was born.
Prepare to Listen. If you’re using the Advent wreath, light all the candles, including the white one, the symbol of Jesus, the light of the world. Pray: May my spirit rejoice in God my Savior.
Prayerfully Read Luke 1:46-55
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.’
When Elizabeth joyfully greeted her as “the mother of my Lord” (Lk 1:43), Mary responded with this song of praise which, as N. T. Wright notes, is all about God and all about revolution.
First, it’s all about God. Mary sang of what God has done, not will do, even though it was still future. She was so confident that God would fulfill the promises God made to her people long ago, she proclaimed them as if they had already happened.
Second, her song is all about revolution. It’s charged with lines that should put fear into the hearts of the rich and powerful because her words proclaim God’s final judgment “in which there is a complete reversal of fortunes: the powerful and rich will exchange places with the powerless and poor.” It’s an in-your-face warning to the oppressive rulers under which Mary lived. Perhaps the most dangerous lines, the ones most likely to anger the political and religious rulers, are: “He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty” (vv. 52-53). For those of us in the first world these words are hard to hear. Some today might call Mary’s emphasis on social justice for the poor a heretical ideology. They’d be wrong. “Almost every word,” writes Wright, “is a biblical quotation.” Mary learned her social justice theology from her scriptures (our Old Testament), in which she was steeped.
What Mary didn’t know then was that her words in this song would be echoed in the life and teaching of her son, Jesus. He confronted the religious and political power-brokers, he made room for the poor and marginalized, he warned the rich not to trust in their wealth and power, he promised God’s kingdom to the poor, not the rich.
Mary was a poor, marginalized, powerless woman and she carried her Savior in her womb, the One who would give her justice. No wonder she magnified the Lord.
Write your own song of praise, beginning with, magnify the Lord with me. What might be your first line. Live with that today.
Respond in Prayer
Thank you Lord, that you came to stand on the side of the poor and powerless, confronting the rich and powerful. Have mercy on them all today. Amen.
Live Obediently. Magnify the Lord today.
 Wright, N.T. Luke For Everyone. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press. 2004, p. 14.
 Craddock, Fred B. Luke. Louisville, KY: John Knox Press. 1990, p. 30.
Reading my Bible has been central in my life since I received my first Bible at 8 years of age. My decades of reading, studying and teaching the Bible gives my devotions a unique and enriching perspective. Reflecting on Jesus' family tree enriched my understanding of Jesus and the salvation he offers.