Israel has anticipated someone to come and liberate them from their suffering for more than four centuries. Waiting was/is part of their identity. As we’ve walked through the Advent season together, we’ve tried to focus on the hope, peace, love, and joy that comes with waiting on God. Waiting is often hard, but it is worth it when you know the one whom you wait for. Now, imagine yourselves in a military occupied land. There are continual rumblings of revolution. Everyone is eagerly anticipating that God would return and bring someone to liberate them from their bondage. An angel visits you and tells you that you are going to give birth to the one everyone has been anticipating. What kind of joy would swell up in your heart?
Go back and read Mary’s song with this kind of joy and hope for the future. How do people express joy? Do they jump, skip, clap their hands, sing a familiar song, or just shout out for joy?! Sometimes in these moments, song lyrics come readily to mind and we just start singing them and even add in our own bits.
Mary and Elizabeth celebrate together because they share a common dream. It was the same ancient dream of Israel. The same dream all of the prophets said would come true. In Mary’s song, we see the reversal of positions. These reversals will play out in Luke’s Gospel as we read through Jesus’ ministry. The humble will be lifted up. Those without food will no longer hunger. Those without water will no longer thirst. Liberation is coming. Mary, in her beautiful song, gives us the gospel before the gospel. She gives us a song to sing and dance to. She gives us a song of revolution!
What about the coming of Jesus makes you sing and dance? How would hearing this song in the voice of a pregnant woman help you hear it differently?