Monday, 13 December 2010

My Soul Magnifies the Lord

When Mary meets with her cousin Elizabeth in Luke's gospel and Elizabeth names her as being blessed May breaks into song praising God and give thanks for God's promises, "My soul magnifies the Lord".

Here is an example of the movement of grace and faith that we might all reflect on as we approach the celebration of Jesus' birth.

God acts in love and mercy and Mary responds.
God acts in love and mercy and we respond.

Far too often we reverse this movement thinking that it is we who must act for God to respond to us with love but the Scriptures continual describe the movement of God to us in grace. God creates, God chooses, God saves, God redeems, God loves! It is this knowledge that inspires Mary's song and the zenith of God's actions of grace occurring within her very womb.

Ultimately it is God's movement towards us and for us in Jesus that opens the possibilities of life in all its fullness, eternity life!

As people living life in God's time, living eternity life now, we like Mary are called to share in her response. To magnify Lord as an expression of thankfulness for what God has already done in and is doing through Jesus' own life, death, resurrection and ascension.

What does it mean to share Mary's song, to proclaim "My soul magnifies the Lord" in how we live? For each of us our expression of magnifying the Lord may be different, for God has given us different gifts and contexts:

Maybe it means a commitment to attending the public worship of God, not jut when it is convenient but every week. Maybe it means sharing in Jesus concern for the poor, the prisoner, the hungry and the oppressed. Maybe it means engaging in challenging the powers and authorities which deceive and seduce us.

For me Mary's joyous song echoes the Westminster Catechism

Q. 1. What is the chief end of man (people)?

A. Man's (Humanity's) chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.

For in giving glory to God, offering thanksgiving, magnifying the Lord do we not also discover the joy of God in our own life?

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