Magnificat: My Soul Magnifies the Lord
Week 3 December 16, 2020
In this Advent time of waiting and watching,
the words of the angel Gabriel break into our world:
“Greetings! The Lord is with you.
Do not fear, for nothing will be impossible with God.”
We respond with Mary to the angel’s message:
“Here am I, the servant of the Lord;
let it be with me according to your word.”
We join with Elizabeth to greet the mother of our Lord:
“Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”
We echo Mary’s song of praise:
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
In this Advent time of waiting and watching, let us pray:
Gracious God, you come to us in new and surprising ways.
You make the impossible possible.
Help us, like Mary, to answer your call,
that the light of Christ may spread to all the world.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
HYMN : Now it is evening, ELW 572
PSALMODY OR READING: Job 5:8-16
and to God I would commit my cause.
9 He does great things and unsearchable,
marvelous things without number.
10 He gives rain on the earth
and sends waters on the fields;
11 he sets on high those who are lowly,
and those who mourn are lifted to safety.
12 He frustrates the devices of the crafty,
so that their hands achieve no success.
13 He takes the wise in their own craftiness;
and the schemes of the wily are brought to a quick end.
14 They meet with darkness in the daytime,
and grope at noonday as in the night.
15 But he saves the needy from the sword of their mouth,
from the hand of the mighty.
16 So the poor have hope,
and injustice shuts its mouth.
Word of God, word of life. Thanks be to God.
Magnificat, ELW 236
Magnificat anima mea dominum [praise soul mine Lord]
READING: Luke 1:46-53
A reading from Luke.
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for you, Lord, have looked with
favor on your lowly servant.
From this day all generations
will call me blessed:
you, the Almighty, have done
great things for me
holy is your name.
You have mercy on those
who fear you,
You have shown strength with
scattered the proud in their conceit,
casting down the
mighty from their thrones
and lifting up the lowly.
filled the hungry with good things
the rich away empty.
The Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.
What do you think
of when you hear we will be reading from the book of Job? Mostly, people think
about how he had so much, and lost it all, and then God restored all he had. In
between those two events is a lengthy dialogue between Job and his friends. The
friends often say, “Hey, Job, just say how bad God is to have let this happen
to you and move on.” Job counters with, “God isn’t bad. God’s justice is obvious.
I simply want God to come and tell me why this has happened to me.”
In the portion of Job we read tonight, he outlines what God’s justice looks like. Bad guys (and gals) don’t win in the end. God causes their downfall. And justice for the poor and needy is exactly what they need. God desires good things for all people, enough for all people.
So, here in Job is another text with similarities to the Magnificat. Mary’s song expresses the longing for justice that has been the topic of prophets and needy people for centuries.
I like to imagine Mary singing this song to Jesus as he was growing up. How might this song, Hannah’s song, Job’s words, and the words of the psalmists have influenced his life and ministry?
Did the rabbi in the town know about Jesus, that he was God’s son? Or did Mary and Joseph keep that a secret as long as possible? Did the rabbi teach about God’s justice like this, too? Did he know Mary’s song?
This year, the injustices of racism have been brought front and center in our country, just as they were in the 1950s and 1960s. Many of us, back then, supported the protests of black people and worked to change the systems that prevent them from succeeding. Others objected to the changes and worked to maintain the status quo. It is just this kind of injustice that Mary’s song speaks to.
How can we, today, in Ocala Florida, work to enhance the streams of justice? How can we be living examples of Mary in our time and place, even amid a pandemic? What little things can you do? What big things can we do together, as a church and as a community?
Let’s allow Job and Mary to challenge us to notice what is unjust, and do whatever we can to create justice as God envisions it. Amen
The one who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.”
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
A list of prayer concerns is gathered.
Each portion of the prayers ends with these or similar words.
O God for whom we long, show us your mercy.
Gathered into one by the Holy Spirit, let us pray as Jesus taught us:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
SENDING SONG: Canticle of the Turning ELW 723
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
The God through whom all things are possible grant you grace, mercy, and peace. Amen.
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Scripture from Common English Bible © 2011