Romanian Grace

The dragon sits by the side of the road, watching those who pass. Beware lest he devour you. We go to the Father of Souls, but it is necessary to pass by the dragon. -- St. Cyril of Jerusalem

13 December, 2007

Thine advent here X

Okay.  Don't anybody get too impressed by my streak of blogs here.  This is ten straight (with a sabbath in there to break things up), and still going strong.  So today I thought I would go with a classic.  Its from the Bible, so I know it's good.  Why is it that people (and angels) so often break out in song when they encounter the Almighty?  Think of Moses, Deborah, just about everybody in Revelation, and now Mary.

The Magnificat

"My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant
for behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear 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 mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent empty away.
He has helped his servant Israel
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers, 
to Abraham and to his offspring forever."

Reading over this, two things occur to me.  One is that we protestants, in reaction against our Catholic parentage (talk about a dysfunctional family), probably don't put quite enough emphasis on Mary.  The Lord favored her highly, however, and she probably had a relationship to God through faith that most of us would envy.  

The other thing worth mentioning is how she responds to the news that there is a little baby inside her.  She starts talking in terms of strength and warfare, of raising those who are low and lowering those who are high, world cataclysmic stuff.  But he was just a lille baby, and after that, he was just a little man, a weak man who was fairly easily killed.  

And so I wonder how much stock I put in planning, in being strong, in having my act together. How I make it one of my goals in ministry, even, to look unassailable, to have the right answers, to conjugate my Romanian verbs correctly.  Does it not seem to be saying here that God uses the weak things, the unexpected things to exalt those who need to be exalted and to decrease the rest?  

Oh, and this, how often could I say that my soul magnifies the Lord?  I think I make him look rather puny and insignificant.


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