31 October 2007

Luke 1:46-55

"My soul magnifies the Lord... for the mighty one has done great things for me, and holy is his name." (v.47-49)


In her journey to visit Elizabeth, Mary has had time to contemplate the news that the angel brought: that she would bear a child to be named Jesus.

In her song we hear Mary's thankfulness at what God has done for her, and how he has turned human attitudes and the expectations of the world on its head. The powerful will be brought down, the humble lifted up, the hungry will be filled and the rich sent away empty. She also dwells on God's power, holiness and mercy.

These words take on new and fresh meaning if you are materially poor. For here you discover a God who knows about you, who cares what happens to you, who has a special blessing for you and that the rich and the proud will not be always be so blessed.

This song of Mary perhaps makes uncomfortable reading for those of us who are materially rich as in it she reflects God's preferential option for the poor. Mary reminds us that there will be justice for the poor - for those who normally have no voice.

The richest people I have met in my life were a group of women who were in prison in Guatemala in 2000. Most were there for stealing food to feed their children, but did not have money to bribe the judges to get them out of jail, so they had to stay for longer periods of time than was normal. They had no voice and were away from their families and yet they were rich because while in prison they had met Jesus and had come to know the blessing of God's love and care for them and were so passionate about sharing that love with others.

To Ponder

Use the reading as a meditation to reflect on the holiness of God.

Remember those today who have no voice: the poor, the abused, those who are being sex-trafficked across the world, the prisoners.

Pray that: "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven".

Bible notes author

Susan Johnson

Susan has recently moved house from the north east coast in Durham to the west coast in Cumbria. After completing eight years as the Darlington Methodist District mission and development enabler she is taking time out to explore what next, but hopes to get involved with the local foodbanks in the area.