Reading: Luke 1: 50-55
Verse 50: “His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.”
In the second half of Mary’s Song she recognizes the ways that the coming kingdom of God will impact the world. Mary chooses to look past the potential and personal implications of living into God’s plan. There are two realities that Mary trusts to God by saying “yes.” Pregnancy and childbirth were far from safe. Some mother’s did not survive childbirth. The more lasting impactful reality would be to live out life as an unwed mother. There was no social welfare system. Such women would be left to struggle for the rest of their lives. And yet Mary said “yes.”
Mary sings, “His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.” She speaks of Israel’s history, of her trust in this God, and of the work of the one in her womb. She goes on to prophesy about how Jesus will “scatter those who are proud” and will “bring down ruler’s from their thrones.” Perhaps speaking a bit more to her story but still to the past and future, Mary sings on. She glorifies how her son will “lift up the humble” and will “fill the hungry with good things.” As he did with the words of many Old Testament prophets, so too will Jesus fulfill these words of Mary.
Jesus will accomplish and do all these things and more. He will be the love of God lived out fully without concern for self. Establishing his upsidedown kingdom, Jesus will face adversity, challenge, and worse from the proud rulers of his day. He will elevate the cause of the ones without voice, without means, without community. This too will come at a cost. We are thankful to be lifted up and filled by Jesus. We are grateful to receive his mercies. Are we willing to walk in these footsteps, loving without regard for self as Jesus did?
Prayer: Lord God, help me to look past the risks as Mary did and to follow in the loving and merciful footsteps of Jesus Christ, your son. Amen.