Fred Clark at Slacktivist – a liberal evangelical Christian blogger with some appropriate, if under-shared Christmas song from Mary.
Who is Jesus? What did he do? What did he teach? Why was he arrested and tortured and killed? And how is it possible that wasn’t the end of his story? Those are the questions, long after that first Christmas in Bethlehem, that the Gospel writer was trying to answer. And right off the bat, in the very first chapter of Luke, we are given a summary of “all that Jesus began to do and to teach.”
Mary’s Song of Praise
And Mary said,
‘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 me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
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 powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’
We hear endless talk, this time of year, about “the true meaning of Christmas.” But for all the laudable, wonderful things that are usually included in those discussions, we rarely ever hear that the true meaning of Christmas involves scattering the proud, bringing down the powerful from their thrones and sending the rich away empty.
That suggests that somehow we’ve got it into our heads that we understand the true meaning of Christmas better than Mary did. That seems unlikely.