And Mary Said

Rhea Talitha   |   December 15, 2016 

Luke 1:46-55 is a passage known as the Magnificat or Mary’s Song of Praise. I have read up so much about it the past few months, ever since, at a concert last Christmas, I heard this amazing song based on the Magnificat, whose lyrics moved me: the Canticle of the Turning. 

The Magnificat is a Christmas song. In fact, it is the first song of the Advent.

I do not like Christmas because I think in all the giving, merry-making and loving the God-who-was-a-baby-in-a-manger, we forget everything else that He is.

The Magnificat, however, glorifies the thunder-on-the-mountain and the King of Kings -- right at the beginning of the Advent.

Of course, through the course of the Advent, we change these words of Christmas until they are easy and sweet, while the original words of fire and strength are obscured.

We make the mystery of God becoming flesh, a virgin giving birth and a sacrificial love deep enough to save the world so uncomplicated that children get it, while issues of justice (especially the issues regarding women) where God's Law and God's Heart have already been revealed are too hard to delve into at youth group.

God is Love and somehow this is supposed to be easier to understand than God is Just.

This has always been strange for me.

Ask anyone in my family and they will tell you how complicated I find friendship, especially friendship with people my age.

Love has always baffled me.

It is not a foreign language but it is definitely not my mother tongue. I can keep up in some conversations but I do not speak it very well.

So when you speak of God's Love to someone like that….

...I don't get it.

I believe it, sure, but it is too big for my frame of reference.

I don't think much about it.

For me, God's Justice is easier to decipher.

Reading about His destruction of proud tyrants, and His many deliverances of Israel, is like coming home.

I love the Magnificat because the direction of the verses clearly show the way to understand and react to God's Justice.

I love how the focus moves so gracefully yet definitively from the great works God has done in Mary's life to the great works He is doing in the whole of the world.

I may not comprehend God's Love, but I know who I am and I know who I would be if not for God's many deliverances of me.

This dialect of saving grace is so easily translated into freedom and justice, which is a language that I do speak.

Mary heard this language in the Law of her people, in every provision for the widow, in every mercy for the orphan and in every legislative kindness for the foreigner.

She heard Him call her, an unwed female teenager, to be the Theotokos -- ‘God-bearer’ -- in a time just like now where most women did not know equality and when they could not even be teachers, let alone leaders -- not at home, nor outside it and never in the synagogues.

Mary heard the voice of God in the history of Israel, in every upturning of unrighteous thrones and in every story of her ancestors being led back home.

And just like Mary -- who was probably my age and definitely my gender, who was so bravely obedient to God while being so bravely defiant to society, and who would probably understand what I'm trying to say -- I hear God speak too.

I hear Him in the Psalms and in His unflinching Prophets.

I hear Him speaking through women pastors who are preaching and writing despite everything.

I hear Him in the voices of the people I love and I hear Him in a few books that almost grasp the eternity put in our hearts.

I hear Him in every citizen that refused to kill for their 'raging nation' and I hear Him in every just law.

I hear Him in the suffrage and independence movements of the past and in feminism right now.

And I want to tell everyone.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

 

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Rhea Talitha

Rhea Talitha is currently studying in the 12th grade. She is feminist who is planning to study political science. She is increasingly being convicted by the Parable of the Talents and is not throwing away her shot... just you wait!

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4 comments on “And Mary Said”

  1. So proud of how you've written this Rhea! Also I love the way you've brought out God's justice, which is so easily forgotten in this season.

    Great writing.

  2. Love , Justice and Peace are three cardinal principles which describe God. During Christmas some time we do underplay the Principle Justice. Great writing- I am proud of you.

  3. Thanks for the privilege of re-reading this great piece - as a draft before and now as a published article! Contemplating His justice does set one ablaze and helps one make sense of this maddeningly unequal world order! Keep going.

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