Luke 1: 46-49:
And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and
my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has
looked with favour 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.’ (NRSV)
What happens to be your favourite Christmas tune? The one that you only need hear once in the shops and you can’t help but hum it to yourself for the rest of
the season – much to the annoyance of everyone else you live or work with!
There is something about Christmas that we cannot help but join in with the singing; it is on the whole a joyful time, and the songs of Christmas are seemingly contagious.
This month I share with you the opening lines of Mary’s song, equally contagious: Mary sings in the presence of Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah,
that God has asked her to be the mother of the coming Saviour, the Son of God. This elderly couple, who are also expecting their first child, are the first
people Mary is able to tell of her goodnews and it is such good news that only a song will capture the joy and blessing of this occasion.
Mary is more than the mother of Jesus, she is a partner with God and a prophet of God. In saying yes to the angel, Mary enables the Son of God to be born
into the world and, as a prophet, she is able to see the wonder of what God is doing in the world. Mary sings of what God is going to do through Jesus, extending
mercy, lifting the humble, acting justly, filling the hungry, helping the people, fulfilling God’s promises, as if all these things had already happened.
Barbara Brown Taylor writes: ‘Prophets almost never get their verb tenses straight, because part of their gift is being able to see the world as God sees it… an eternally unfolding mystery that surprises everyone.’
Mary is like that, in saying yes to God she has unlocked the wonder of what God is able to do through her life and through the life of her son, Jesus.
In saying yes, Mary is being caught up into a song that is still being played out today. A song of wonder, a song of action, a song of love, a song which is contagious.
Like Mary, you may be going through some big changes in your life, you may be wondering what the New Year will bring for you, you may be somewhat
afraid (Mary certainly didn’t know what the future would hold) – then maybe you should try joining in with Mary’s song, listening to the hope she voices in
God. For, as God has acted in the past, with grace, faithfulness and love, so God will continue to act to show favour on his lowly servant.
May you magnify the Lord and your spirits rejoice in the birth of Christ. For Jesus is a blessing to us all. I hope you will be able to enjoy the singing this
Christmas. On behalf of Carol and myself and all the staff team at KMC we wish you all a very Happy Christmas and every blessing for the New Year,
With every blessing,
Rev. Alan Bradley