Updated: Sep 1, 2021
"'I am the Lord’s servant,' Mary answered. 'May it happen to me according to your word...'" ~ Luke 1:38
There's a poignant yet light quote by author William Golding, 1954. It may be a super-sized level of weird to use a quote from the author of Lord of the Flies in a post about Christmas, but I'm going to go there anyway.
"... Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she'll give you a baby. If you give her a house, she'll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she'll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she'll give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her..."
The beginning and end land rather on the side of edgy, but I offer the middle to make a point.
(To be clear, I am not catholic, though I do hail from a line of very strong women on one side who were devoutly so. From time to time, you'll see their influence pop up. I'd like to think Grandma Peg and Great Grandma Bert smile from the other side of eternity when their influence sneaks out, as it is about to do.)
The Magnificat, also known as the Song of Mary, is a Latin canticle that I find to be quite expansive. Many translate the essence of the Latin word as, my soul magnifies the Lord.
Early this year, it was my dear friend and author David Diamond who pointed out that Mary was the first among us to invite Jesus into her very being.
What an extraordinary thought. It actually had me back on my heels a bit, spiritually speaking, as the significance smacked me and sank in.
With no offense intended to my Catholic brethren, to my mind, she was and remains just as human as the rest of us, which makes her choice of response all the more extraordinary. Young as she was, when an angel appeared to her and said "Be not afraid," she had the presence of mind to be present and listen.
Have you ever noticed in the Biblical account, whenever an angel appears, the first words are, "Be not afraid"? It must have been quite an experience.
In the midst of all of that, when she was told an outlandish tale, a tale of the impossible, she knew the Source.
She knew Who was directing her steps.
With wisdom and spiritual maturity far beyond her years, I imagine her looking to the heavens and uttering those history changing words, "May it happen to me according to your word."
Whom among us would have that kind of courage?
Courage... A word that has the same Latin root (cor) as the French word coeur... Of the heart. I once read, in its earliest form courage meant, to speak one's mind by telling all one's heart.
Colloquially, we know the word courage to mean taking action or exhibiting strength in the face of fear or pain or whatever less than pleasant circumstance might confront us.
Whom among us, breath by breath, day by day, has the courage to surrender all our heart, all our lives, our very being, without reservation and in truth, will utter the words of a young teenage girl? Do we, with all we are, petition our Father in heaven, "May it happen to me according to your word."
As did Mary, will we invite the person and presence of our Savior into our own person and presence?
And, as did that veritable child, will we in turn take the mustard seed of faith, or giftings, or dreams, or whatever might reside within, and allow God to do through us what Golding lauded women for?
Will we allow Him to take our small offering, whatever we have to give, and make it into a gift for the world, or even for our little corner of the world?
Oh, how I pray I have it in me to do that very thing every moment of every day for the rest of my days.
The Magnificat, what a perfect and lovely sentiment for today's train of thought. May my soul magnify the Lord.
Heavenly Father, We stand in awe of who You are as Creator.
We stand in awe of what you did when You sent Your Son that long ago night.
We stand in speechless gratitude that You knew who we would be when You formed us, when You conceived of us before time began, and You chose to do it anyway. You chose all of the craziness, all of the mistakes, all of the darkness, and You had a remedy for it all.
You sent a baby, born to a young woman with the wisdom to surrender to Your Will and Way.
Thank You, Heavenly Father, for helping us to surrender in kind with every cell in our being, with every breath, and to likewise invite You, Your Son, and Your Holy Spirit to indwell, to be our all in all.
Thank You, for adopting us into your family, for writing us into Your story.
And, thank You, for helping us to walk it out well.
"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying: 'Whom shall I send? Who will go for Us?' And I said: 'Here am I. Send me!'" ~ Isaiah 6:8
"Therefore I urge you, brothers, on account of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service of worship." ~ Romans 12:1
"But now, O LORD, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You are the potter; we are all the work of Your hand." ~ Isaiah 64:8
May the Good Lord bless you and keep you, friends... always, in all ways. Amen.
Needless to say, today's bonus song of praise is not really a song. I don't know if you'll want to see the whole thing, but I did, so...
I present to you, J.S. Bach's Magnificat. ♥
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