Speaking of not corresponding to the liturgical calendar, let's jump back in time to March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation. Nine months before she gave birth, the angel Gabriel appeared in Nazareth to Mary, a virgin engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, who was a descendant of King David. The angel informed Mary that God had caused her to conceive a son, who would be called the Son of God. A few days later, when discussing the visitation with her relative Elizabeth (the mother of John the Baptist), Mary sang a song of praise to the Lord for blessing her above all women. Mary's song has become known as the Magnificat, after the first word of the hymn in Latin. Today's poem is an adaptation of the original by the Rev. Dr. W. Frederick Wooden, senior minister of the Fountain Street Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
My soul magnifies God
We are enlarged.
And my spirit breaks out,
Rejoicing in the face of freedom,
That God (something now within, yet not mine)
Has glanced at this daughter of hope.
And behold, henceforth, time will know and regard me.
For that great mystery is a beam
Drawn through this lens,
Comforting me and all people,
The shadows now dispersed.
There is strength here
Like the sinew of a mother’s arm.
It shatters the brittle pride of wealth;
It levels the clay-foot thrones of tyrants;
It upholds the forgotten, the scarred.
Hunger, both body and soul, will be filled.
Riches will no more be rewarded.
The holy one cleaves to those who keep faith;
It will endure in those who serve mercy.
And the promise made to legend ancestors will be kept.
W. Frederick Wooden (born 1953)
Previous Advent posts:
2003: O come, O come, Emmanuel
2004: Large dish with scale border; in the center, the Madonna and Child
2005: With you decorating the tree...
2006: Project began Dec. 3
2007: Project began Dec. 2
2008: A Christmas Festival