Week of: December 15, 2019
Scripture: Luke 1:46b-55
... my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
(Luke 1:47-50, NRSV)
And yet she persisted.
In spite of her lowly station in life, in spite of her marginalization by culture and society, in spite of all the chaos, Mary says "yes." For her "yes," she is granted one of the greatest gifts of all time, to bear the very body of Jesus the Christ in her womb. She willingly holds the incarnation of God-with-us in her belly. Lifting that belly, she sings out one of the most victorious songs ever sung.
In the very act of saying "yes" to God's call, Mary knows that God has lifted the lowly. Mary knows that the hungry are being fed and that God's mercy is great. She sings in hope with assurance that God will fulfill the promises made to her ancestors.
This Sunday we light three candles, with the third being historically pink to celebrate Gaudete ["Rejoice ye"] Sunday. This week of Advent is often seen as a more joyful time as we look through the victorious eyes of Mary to the coming of God in human flesh. You could say that we have been granted liturgical license to fling our arms open with an abandoned shout of "yes"!
May we say "yes" to God in spite of whatever station we find ourselves. May we seek with God to lift the marginalized, to feed the hungry, and to show mercy. In doing these actions, we join Mary on this journey of birthing God again on earth in this time and space, and we rejoice!
Director of Music, Blue Ridge Presbyterian Church, Raytown, MO
Artist in Residence, Community Christian Church, Kansas City, MO