Original Posting At http://sandpipersthoughts.blogspot.com/2020/01/drumbeat-of-joy-part-3.html
Continuing the sermon from yesterday
Listen to this scripture from the Gospel of Luke, chapter 1, verses 46-55. We call this passage the Magnificat – it is Mary’s song after she has a visit from an angel telling her of Jesus, and after her visit with Elizabeth, who is pregnant in her old age.
Think for a moment about the circumstances the Jewish people were living in. They were under Roman occupation and living in a time of political uncertainty. There were those who wanted to create a politically and religiously free Israel again, and the zealots were willing fight in order to achieve that. King Herod was an extremely violent, power-hungry, and unpredictable ruler. The people were heavily taxed and the money used to build monuments to the King. Mary lived in these uncertain and dark times; she was poor, oppressed, young, and powerless.
And then the word of Mary comes in her song. She is praising God – not just in hymns and prayers, but with her whole being. With her entire soul. She is magnifying God. She is definitely in a “thin place” – close to God, visited by an angel. Her cousin Elizabeth has just declared that Mary carries the Lord. She is in relationship with God, and she sings of salvation. She sings about a transformation of the world. The poor will no longer be hungry. The powerful will be brought down. God is remembering his promises to God’s people.
And if you look carefully at the words of the Magnificat, they are in presence tense. Mary is not just singing of a future far away, but she is telling of her present time. God was with them right at that moment, and would change the world. These are words of joy. Can you hear the drumbeat of them?