We join with Mary in singing her song and proclaiming with generations before us and future generations that Christ will be born in our world to bring justice, peace, and mercy.
Vicar Andrea Bonneville
Fourth Sunday of Advent, year C
Texts: Luke 1:39-45
Beloved in Christ, grace and peace to you in the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Is there a song that takes you back to a moment in your life when you were filled with joy, or sorrow, or fear, or love?
A song that you know every word or note to. A song that lives deep in your bones and in your heart. It might not be your favorite, or on the greatest hits list, or by a well-known composer, but it has a meaning from a time in your life. And now when you hear this song it takes you back to a moment, a time or place, and you remember and feel all the emotions that are wrapped in it?
Take a moment. What song starts playing in your heart?
Today we sing and hear the song that was playing in Mary’s heart as she believed there would be a fulfillment of God’s promises and God’s Word in her life.
But where did she learn her song?
I’ve heard that this song that Mary sings is divinely inspired by God and that through her faith she sings these words of praise and proclamation. And we also know that Mary’s words are similar to the words that Hannah sings when she is pregnant with Samuel. For Mary, this song was about her life about her community about who she knows God to be.
The words pour out from her heart with joy, and confidence, and hope, and mercy that indeed God is going to transform the world through her with the son she will give birth to. She sings of a world where the people with power are brought down and the lowly will be lifted high, of the hungry being filled with good things and the rich being sent away empty.
She sings with joy knowing that, now with this baby in her womb, the promises that she has heard passed down from generation to generation are about to be born.
I don’t know if this is necessarily historically accurate, but imagine with me if Mary had heard this song her entire life. What if Mary’s mom sang this song when she was pregnant with Mary? What if Mary’s family sang this together before bed at night? Hoping, waiting, anticipating for their current reality to be transformed by God. What if the song was passed down from generation to generation by the prophets? So just as Mary proclaims “Here I am” to the calling of God like the prophets before her she also proclaims this song. Believing and trusting that she was created for and worthy of bearing the Christ child into our world.
If this song, this promise and proclamation of who God is, was already deep within her bones and her heart whether she had heard it before or if the Spirit moved through her in that moment, there is no hiding that Mary was created for the task ahead of her.
When Mary says yes to the calling of the Triune God, she could have wept or hid in fear, but instead she goes to her relative Elizabeth who is also pregnant. She goes into a community that will love her, believe her, rejoice with her, and walk this journey with her because they have also heard the promises of God’s love and mercy. She goes to her community and she sings a song of joy and praise proclaiming God’s transforming power, mercy, and justice are here and now.
Mary takes joy in the promise that God is with, cares for, and acts on behalf of the poor and oppressed. And trusts that the mighty and powerful will not control the world, but that through people like her and her friends, family, and community God is working and stirring and breathing life that will transform. She knows that what God is doing is not just for her, but it is for you and for me and for all of creation.
We join our voices with Mary who proclaims the greatness of God and who rejoices in God’s promises in her life and for the world. Knowing, trusting, hoping, anticipating, waiting for these promises to be made known in our lives and our communities.
Discerning that for some of us our voices will grow louder and for others our voices need to be softer. That for some of us, we need to actively empty ourselves letting go of privileges, and excess money and belongs, and for others we seek more fulfillment of both physical and spiritual things that help us to live healthy and whole lives. Living in community where we can challenge, and love, and journey with each other as we bear the living Word of God in our lives, being people who reflect the image of God through our love, our actions, and our songs.
In our songs of joy,
In our songs of transformation,
In our songs of hope,
In our songs that we hold dear to the core of our being, we are reminded of our belonging in the ongoing work of Christ. That we are part of the story from generation to generation of God’s beloved creation working together to bring peace and justice to our world.
Mary shows us and reminds us that each of us have been chosen for the communal task of bearing God’s transforming love in our world. And as we witness and participate together in God’s call for our lives, we singing praises, again and again so that our children, and grandchildren, and generations after us continue these praises.
Take a moment. Can you hear Mary’s song in your heart?
Mary’s song and proclamation is at the center of our lives. It’s the structure of our bones, the melody of our hearts, the chorus of our lives. The good news and joy of God’s love and justice lives, and breaths, and has life in us as we join our praises together. Praising and rejoicing in the Triune God who continuously comes into our world and into our lives bringing hope, and peace, and justice here and now.