As we get closer to Christmas day we look at one more part of the pre-Christmas story. It’s a one hit wonder from Jesus’ mother, Mary.
Every musician and songwriter has aspirations of writing at least one hit song in their lifetime. They hope that one of their many attempts at writing would get in the hands of the masses. Some might say it’s about money (and there definitely is money attached to a hit song), but the true artist would say that they want to give the world a glimmer of hope with their art.
From what we know, Mary wasn’t a prolific song writer, but she did pen a one hit wonder. Her song, recorded in Luke 1 has been used, recited, chanted, thousands of times through out the centuries. If any song has made it big, this one from a pregnant teenager sure had legs to it.
It’s been called Mary’s Magnificat, which simply means, magnifying, making or showing something (God) to be BIG. It’s been whispered in monasteries, chanted in cathedrals, recited in small churches during evening candlelight, and set to music by Bach. It’s also been banned by at least three governments in the last century: The British Rule in India (early 1900’s), the Guatemala government discovered it to be too revolutionary & dangerous (1980), and Germany banned it when Dietrich Bonhoeffer recited it during Advent, 1933, before being executed by the Nazis.
What is it about this song that is so beautiful and yet so powerful?
In it Mary wants her people, Israel, the world, and us, to know who God is, who he is cheering for, and that He keeps his promises.
Take some time to read it (HERE) and see if you can identify these things too.
Here’s a quick summary:
– Mary sings about who God is to her: a loving Father who chooses a humble girl to do something extraordinary. She realizes that the baby in her is coming to save…her…and us.
– Mary sings about who God is to the poor, the hungry and the hurting: God is cheering for the marginalized. He is also calling us to help restore those who fall into this category. Mary realizes that the baby inside her is their saviour too; that Jesus will come to fill empty stomachs and restore people back to wholeness.
– Mary sings about promises fulfilled: for Israel, for us, for you. God promised Abraham that his faithfulness would turn into a great nation and a great people. Jesus’ birth was the fulfillment of that promise. And it doesn’t stop at Israel…this promise is for the world.
So how did a teenage girl, with no youtube and internet, write a one hit wonder? Well, it’s easy, she had all the inspiration in the world. Inside her, was the wonder of the world, the great and morning star, the prince of peace, the wonderful counsellor, the saviour – that’s all the inspiration she needed.
Let this song give you hope today.