Singing is a natural response to joyful times and celebratory moments. But what about when the situation is bleak or the circumstances dark? History is replete with songs from the darkness, lyrics meant to push back the darkness and bring hope. Mary is one of those in history who sang through the night. The first Christmas song in history wasn’t a carol like we’d sing today. Mary’s song is both personal and prophetic.
At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea,where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth.When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear himfrom generation to generation.He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thronesbut has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.” Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.
Mary’s song is not what we would typically sing at Christmastime. It’s a punch in the gut to the might-makes-right ways of the world. It’s a reversal of what the world imagines to be the norm. As Tom Wright says, “Mary’s song is the gospel before the gospel.”
• Pray that there would be a willingness to give God the lyrics that are in us right now and to be open to God’s miraculous ability to use even the darkest of songs to shine the brightest of lights.
• Pray that any vestige of self-sufficiency and pride would be uprooted from our hearts to make room for the blessings of God.