Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Advent 4b - Luke 1:46-55

The “great thing God has done for me” made Mary great with child without her betrothed's participation or consent. That is not normally a cause for rejoicing even if the child hidden in her secret place (though not for long) was the Messiah. Let’s be clear, Mary was not a member of the ruling class and the “servant Israel” of whom she sings was hardly a significant player on the world’s stage. But Mary is naturally naïve and believes in, or at least hopes for, the promise of God come true. And come to think of it, even the secular songs of this season seem wonderfully naïve in a world so full of woe. “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose…” There is more power in hope than any other human emotion save love, although they are so closely related as to almost be the same thing. And miracles, like songs that imagine God come down to lift up the lowly and feed the hungry with good things, do not need to be fully realized to be more than true. When Mary’s boy was full grown the mighty she imagined cast down from their thrones lifted him up on a cross until crying out in agony he breathed his last and was sent empty away. But death could not still the song she sung when he moved in her womb and the refrain of His resurrection was just the prelude to the chorus that is sung even now in eternity. The Lord has done great things indeed.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Phil:
    You write: "But Mary is naturally naïve and believes in, or at least hopes for, the promise of God come true." I see what you mean. There is a simple faith here at work, one that is not taken in by the "deep" thoughts of men. Her faith is straightforward and clean, perhaps because she is graced (or as a result?). Can that faith be present much today? Are we so far removed from the possibility of a Mary type faith today that she is now an anomaly?