In the first chapter of Luke, Mary’s song of praise sets the scene for the whole of the gospel story. Mary, a young, powerless woman, sings of a God who lifts up the lowly, who takes power from the ones who rule, who fills the bellies of the hungry and leaves the rich with nothing. The picture Mary paints is of a world gone topsy-turvy. She sings not just about God honouring her, but about God taking away from those who lord power over others and those who abuse their positions.
Which, of course, is exactly how Jesus lives and how he interacts with the world. In his life, Jesus calls the most unexpected ones to be his disciples, he shows love to all the wrong sorts, and eats with the ones that everyone deems unworthy. There are no stories of Jesus dining with kings.
Mary’s song tells us exactly what God is like. And even though she surely understands that being the mother of the Son of God will not be easy, she calls herself blessed. May we all be such devoted disciples.
Give me a willing heart to serve you as faithfully and humbly as Mary. Amen. — JM