It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Good News for Whom? a reflection on Luke 1:47-55

Mary responds to Elizabeth's good news and her own with a song of praise. Like Hannah before her (see 1 Samuel 2:1-10), Mary begins by praising God: "My soul magnifies the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. From now on, all generations will call me blessed because of what God has done for me."
God chose Mary to bear the savior. Why didn't God pick a woman from one of the more powerful, prominent families? Why would God choose the backwater of the empire to be the birthplace of the savior, Rome, for example? For those of us who live in a powerful country, how willing are we to consider that God may continue to choose other venues for gifts?

Lectio Divina: Psalm 146:1-2
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God all my life long.

In her song again echoing Hannah's, Mary describes what God has already done. Notice how her song emphasizes differences: God has brought down the powerful and lifted up the lowly. God has fed the hungry and sent the rich away empty. 

Who should be reassured by this song? Who should start worrying?

In verses 54-55, Mary reminds us that God has helped Israel according to the promises made to our ancestors.God's promise is to Abraham and his descendents forever. How do these words sound to us Christians when we realize that both Jews and Muslims consider Abraham to be their ancestor as well?

Lectio Divina: Psalm 146:3-10:
Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom tjhere is no help.
When their breath departs, they return to the earth;
on that very day their plans perish.

Happy are those whose help is in the Lord their God,
who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them;
who executes justice for the oppressed;
who gives food to the hungry.

The Lord sets the prisoners free;
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down'
the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the strangers;
he upholds the orphan and the widow,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
The Lord will reign forever,

your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord!.

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