Grace and peace to you this Christmas morning!
As with the birth of any child, knowing their parents will help us to understand who they are. A baby’s earliest and most intimate influences can be powerfully determining of the whole of their life. Thus if we want to understand this baby Jesus – then we would be wise to get to know his mother.
Before Jesus is able to speak, he listens. Jesus listens to his mother Mary singing songs of radical economic transformation that will become for him the principles and purpose of his living and eventually be the cause of his dying. Mary’s song is not a lullaby but rather a wake-up call for the world:
‘My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
for he has looked with favour on the lowliness
of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call
for the Mighty One has done great things
for me, and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who revere him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts
of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from
and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant people,
in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our
to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’
What enabled Mary to sing such a socially subversive song was that she had surrendered her life to Love’s call: “Here I am, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Only those who fully surrender to the call of Love can sing such a song – not as popular rhetoric – but as a truthful expression of the desires of God’s own heart.
Mary is moved to surrender to Love’s call after she is convinced that “nothing will be impossible with God”. In other words, with God even an economy that forever favours the rich and exploits the poor can be turned up-side-down.
Baby Jesus learns from his mother about surrendering to Love. Baby Jesus learns that authentic loving restructures society in favour of justice for the poor. Baby Jesus learns to trust that though many believe the world will never really change for the good and for the least, that nothing is impossible with God.
Application of Mary’s song is one of the most desperately urgent tasks of our time – in our land and throughout the world. As soon as Jesus is able to speak he will call each of us to live out his mom’s song.