December 11 Sweet & Salty Advent 3

Sweet & Salty – Life is like trail-mix!

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And the heavenly messenger was gone. 39 Mary immediately got up and hurried to the hill country, in the province of Judah, 40-41 where her cousins Zacharias and Elizabeth lived. When Mary entered their home and greeted Elizabeth, who felt her baby leap in her womb, Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Elizabeth (shouting): 42 You are blessed, Mary, blessed among all women, and the child you bear is blessed! 43 And blessed I am as well, that the mother of my Lord has come to me! 44 As soon as I heard your voice greet me, my baby leaped for joy within me. 45 How fortunate you are, Mary, for you believed that what the Lord told you would be fulfilled.

Mary is deeply moved by these amazing encounters—first with the messenger and then with her cousin, Elizabeth. Mary’s response can’t be contained in normal prose; her noble soul overflows in poetry. And this poetry isn’t simply religious; it has powerful social and political overtones. It speaks of a great reversal—what might be called a social, economic, and political revolution. To people in Mary’s day, there is little question as to what she is talking about. The Jewish people are oppressed by the Roman Empire, and to speak of a King who will demote the powerful and rich and elevate the poor and humble means one thing: God is moving toward setting them free! Soon Zacharias will overflow in poetry of his own.

46 Mary: My soul lifts up the Lord!
47     My spirit celebrates God, my Liberator!
48     For though I’m God’s humble servant,
        God has noticed me.
    Now and forever,
        I will be considered blessed by all generations.
49     For the Mighty One has done great things for me;
        holy is God’s name!
50     From generation to generation,
        God’s loving kindness endures
        for those who revere Him.

51     God’s arm has accomplished mighty deeds.
        The proud in mind and heart,
        God has sent away in disarray.
52     The rulers from their high positions of power,
        God has brought down low.
    And those who were humble and lowly,
        God has elevated with dignity.
53     The hungry—God has filled with fine food.
        The rich—God has dismissed with nothing in their hands.
54     To Israel, God’s servant,
        God has given help,
55     As promised to our ancestors,
        remembering Abraham and his descendants in mercy forever.

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