“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant…”
In the darkness of winter, a child is born: Jesus, the light of the world. It was Jesus’ young mother whose words hint at the revolutionary meaning of his arrival.
Mary was a young peasant girl with a powerful spiritual vision. Not only is God her Savior, the Lord is the holy Mighty One who fills the hungry, lifts up the lowly, and topples the thrones of the proud and powerful. Through her well-loved speech describing this vision, the Magnificat, Mary brings a light of her own into the world.
Where is our light in the darkness?
Mary shows us how to see beyond appearances, how to look beyond the surface of injustice into God’s own heart. The humble are blessed. The rich will be sent away empty. We may not see the world turning yet, but Mary knew it was beginning in her own womb. It was a spark of hope, a whisper, and then a kick.
The Savior of the world did not come into the world to condemn the world, to forget the troubles of the broken, or to heap blessing on those who have already taken all the blessing for themselves. The Savior came to heal and to restore, and this means love and justice. It means a reversal of fortunes for many.
When we get this right, when we keep divine love paired with divine justice, perhaps our faith will make more sense. Perhaps we will see that personal salvation rings hollow without the redemption of all of creation. Perhaps the problems of the world will seem a little less dark and despairing and the hope of God with us will shine all the brighter.
This was Mary’s prayer. May it be ours as well.
And now with this post, this blog will take a new turn of its own. It is my hope in the New Year to move from weekly reflections on scripture to more in-depth (and periodic) discussions of the justice born in the world at Jesus’ birth. Stay tuned. And Merry Christmas! – Sarah