My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
Most of the time, except when my ideas of how life should be conflict with how they are. And I think I know better than God. And my pants don't fit. Then I whine. And this rejoicing bit is hard when you've had twenty-seven meetings in a week and the bank account is low and you've sat with a lovely parishioner who is dying and you have that feeling in your soul that says, "Say goodbye to her." But rejoicing isn't being happy endlessly. Rejoicing is simply being in the authentic space of feeling. I can grieve and rejoice that I had the privilege of having someone in my life whom I will miss. I can be angry and rejoice that I can feel anger and not turn it inward to depression. I can rejoice when I whine because Brad or Holli or Susan will bring the cheese to the party.
For he hath regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden.
Oooh. That lowliness part. Yep, we aren't big on that in our culture. We like to be big and strong and rich and powerful. We like to have the biggest churches and the most Twitter followers. But time and time again, God shows how wholly unimpressed God is with power and popularity. We rationalize our power. We justify our authority. We go to great lengths to remind ourselves mostly how wonderful we are. And yet we know, God meets us in our most lowly, our most humble, our most un-awesomeness. God meets us when our hearts are broken, our hair is frizzy, and we're just big hot messes. And loves us in that place.
For behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
Just a note, she's speaking of the ever-blessed virgin Mary. Not anyone else. Take note, politicians and Donald Trump.
For he that is mighty hath magnified me, and holy is his Name.
And this is about God. So strike two for all of us who think we are the second coming. She also notes that God magnifies. We probably need to revise our Facebook pages to reflect all the glory we like to cast on ourselves. It's also not talking about that group of us that invented air or oxygen. That self-magnification is easy to spot. But what about those of us who claim too much of our heartache as ours, too? Those of us who take all the blame instead of a fair portion? Yep, that's magnifying ourselves, too. As one close friend likes to say, "We aren't as great as we think we are, nor are we as lousy as we think we are, either." God calls us to self-examination, to allow God's light to shine on our good and our bad so we can discover more of our truest selves. God's magnifying our selves and souls invites us to deep discovery and work about who we are, to see ourselves more clearly - fully. That's holy and really challenging work.
And his mercy is on them that fear him throughout all generations.
Back to that humility thing. Again. You know, as many times as God and Jesus talk about humility, you would think at least one politician who features a church in his/her campaign ad would bring it up. Just once. Maybe? I wonder if anyone would bet $10,000 that humility will be mentioned as a key quality for leadership.
He hath showed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud with the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble and meek. He hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he hath sent empty away.
Prosperity gospel preachers seem to miss this, along with the rest of us. God clearly has an agenda for dealing with the rich, the powerful, and the proud - and we probably won't like it. I wonder how uncomfortable, how truly uncomfortable, those of us in positions of power, authority, and wealth would feel if we really, really believed Mary was singing the truth. What if she is?
He remembering his mercy hath holpen is servant Israel, as he promised to our forefathers (and mothers) Abraham (and Sarah and Hagar) and his seed forever.
Apparently God's memory is longer than an elephants and all that stuff God said in the Hebrew scriptures about loving us forever and being our God no matter how petulant and annoying we are still counts.
Glory to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.