46 Mary said,
“With all my heart I glorify the Lord!
47 In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my savior.
48 He has looked with favor on the low status of his servant.
Look! From now on, everyone will consider me highly favored
49 because the mighty one has done great things for me.
Holy is his name.
50 He shows mercy to everyone,
from one generation to the next,
who honors him as God.
51 He has shown strength with his arm.
He has scattered those with arrogant thoughts and proud inclinations.
52 He has pulled the powerful down from their thrones
and lifted up the lowly.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty-handed.
54 He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,
remembering his mercy,
55 just as he promised to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to Abraham’s descendants forever.”
I know why Mary sang her praises to God. She was chosen to bear Jesus. She experienced the incarnation in her own being. That feeling of your soul overflowing with more joy than it can hold. The kind of joy that makes you want to shout out praises and cry at the same time. The joy of knowing it is both over and just beginning. A child destined to turn the world upside down, who will bring joy to the joyless, peace to those in turmoil and hope to a world that has given up all hope.
God is here, God is present, God is with us! Sing your song of praise to God. Our souls sing, turning defeat into victory. From all over the earth we sing Hallelujah from the broken places. Our humanity praises God’s arrival from the prisons, in the justice torn streets, in the COVID filled hospitals and in immigrant detention centers. Emmanuel, God is with us, we cry out from our pain, our anger, our fear, our grief and our loneliness. And God is with us, loving us, saving us, growing us, because God took on human form, he knows our every need. The darkness shall not over come us, this eternal light, Jesus calling us to salvation, rebirth, healing and new life.
I know why Mary sang. She sang of God’s love. She sang because she knew that God’s rule would overturn the world’s rule of money, power, status and oppression. The things of this world can not stand in the wake of God’s righteous love. Mary sang because the hungry, the lowly, the broken, the poor and oppressed, are now first in God’s Kin(g)-dom. Do you not perceive it? Like Mary we can sing our song of praise to God.
Do you know why Mary sang for joy? Have you rejoiced in God and your Savior lately? Praise brings both ourselves and God together in joy. We need to praise God continually, in the valleys and on the mountain tops of our lives.
By Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
Are you in a place of joy where you can praise God for all that God has done and will continue to do for you? Praise God now! Maybe you are experiencing difficult times. Praising God in the valley is not easy, it may not be possible for us in that moment. But when you come through the valley, remember to praise God and experience the joy of God’s love, the peace of God with us.
Prayer: Holy God, we shout and sing our joyful song of praise to you, from all the broken places in the world. Praise to you God, for sending Jesus to be with us, your light of the world, who has saved us from our sins and given us hope, peace and eternal joy. Amen.