Today’s scripture is Luke 1:46b-55, referred to as Mary’s Song of Praise, or in Latin, the Magnificat, taken from Mary’s refrain, “My soul magnifies the Lord.” To accompany this reading, I have included an excerpt from “Mary’s Song: A Poem” by Lisa Sharon Harper (Find the full poem here: https://sojo.net/articles/marys-song-poem).
Lisa Sharon Harper, the author of this poem, has taken Mary’s millenias-old hymn and reframed it in a modern context. She finds aspects of Mary’s story, such as poverty, persecution, and prejudice not just relics of an ancient time, but rampant in our modern world. I am sure each one of us could immediately name the injustices in the world that weigh on us most heavily. For Harper in this poem, these are issues of environmental injustice, exploitation, and homelessness. And yet, Harper does not stay stuck in the anger and indignation that these issues stir up but remembers Mary’s words: “My soul will magnify the Lord.” Mary’s work of magnifying the Lord was done by bringing Jesus into the world, that most precious gift given to us by God. I believe we can do our own magnifying when we remember this gift, and in remembering, are spurred to action. We can magnify – make greater, intensify – this gift when we do our part to make the world a better place, as it was made better for us with Jesus’s birth.
It will not look the same for every one of us as it did for Mary or Lisa Sharon Harper, but I urge in this advent season, let us remember what was done for us so long ago, and consider how we can magnify the gift we have received in our own lives by finding ways to address the issues that weigh on us the most.
Ashton Carr, ’20