And Mary said…
Andrew Bolton of Leicester, England
And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty. -Luke 1:46-47, 51-53
And pregnant Mary sang these words to her cousin Elizabeth, also pregnant. In the moral, political, and economic crisis in Israel, Mary sings hope. Her country is being devastated by the brutal, greedy, and oppressive Roman Empire. Four miles away from Nazareth in the town of Sepphoris 2,000 Jewish men would be crucified around the time of the birth of Jesus. It was a warning to those who revolt. Poor peasant farmers were taxed up to 50% of their harvest. Bread was stolen from the children to feed the extravagant desires of the rich and powerful-the 1%. In a bad harvest, small farmers borrowed money on their land, and then when they could not pay, lost their land and became even more vulnerable to hunger.
Pregnant Mary in this crisis sings her hope of a new “kingdom of God” day dawning. First it will be a moral revolution of the heart, a conversion of the soul, from pride to humility and solidarity with the poor and oppressed. Second, it is an upending of the political. God will bring down the rich and powerful from their thrones and lift up the lowly-the kingdom of God is a political revolution. God is coming as king in a baby soon to be born. Third it is an economic revolution. God will fill the hungry with good things and send the rich away empty.
In the crisis of these pandemic times, with Mary, we can hope and work for the new normal, Zion normal. Let us seize this time, not to go back to the old normal of injustices but rebuild a new way of justice for all.
“Trust what is being born.”
Jesus, the Peaceful One
We have spent this year with a guiding question: Are we moving closer to Jesus, the Peaceful One? As we near the end of this calendar year, we review how this question has been shaping and forming us. In our thoughts, words, and actions, have we been embodying Jesus, the Peaceful One? What might it look like to move closer to Jesus, the Peaceful One as we make space in our lives for Christ incarnate this Advent season?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.