Thursday, December 17, 2015

And Mary Said...

“My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”
Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home. 
Luke 1: 46-56

I’d like to conclude my thoughts on Mary during this Advent Series by taking a look at what many call “Mary’s Song.” I grew up calling this portion of Scripture, “El Magnificat” because it is the expression of a soul magnifying the Lord. It is the Holy Spirit-Inspired poem that came out of Mary’s mouth in a moment when her whole being could do nothing but to praise the Lord! By the way, I have always considered this collection of verses a prayer not a song or even a poem. And it is because I grew up saying it as a prayer.

Back in my youth, I did not have many pieces of Scripture memorized. I still do not, but at least I can paraphrase more now : ) However, the one thing I did have committed to memory, other than the Lord’s Prayer was “El Magnificat.” My Mother had it memorized and she believed the words to have great power. Of course they are powerful words, they are Scripture, and any part of Scripture contains the power of the Breath of God in them, and once we speak it, it never comes back empty. (Isaiah 5: 11) So I memorized this portion of Scripture as well and I have been reciting it for as long as I can remember, particularly in my hour(s) of great need.

These are the words I say in my mind while I face a time of waiting. They are my “waiting words.” And of course, I don’t mean wait as at the grocery checkout line. I mean wait as in the doctor’s waiting room, whole body scans, test results type of wait. These are the words I repeat to bring peace to my anxious soul in my moments of great fear.

As I go through each verse, I recount, as Mary did, the great things the Almighty has done not just for me, but for His beloved, among whom I count myself. As I say the words, I do try to focus on glorifying and magnifying Him for He has cared about His lowly servant who can’t do anything without Him. I don’t think the generations will call me blessed, but He has done, indeed, great things for me in His Holy Name. And His mercy does reach all who love Him, and for that, we are blessed. We find refuge in the shadow of His wings and we trust His promises that he made to our spiritual ancestors for He is Faithful and His Word is True!

The same way the Holy Spirit gave Mary these words as a powerful anthem to march on to the many battles she will face ahead, He gave them to us as well. What do they call it in Marching Band? I should know that by now! The Fight Song, yeah! This is my Fight Song. This is the song/poem/prayer I recount whenever I face the battles I encounter on this side of Heaven, and I pray they become yours too.

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