This is the eleventh in our Advent series of reflections, written by pioneering youth workers…
Mary’s song, your song
I love the idea of a personal theme song – I first saw this in a programme called Ally McBeal
– and what mine is changes a bit over time although Helen Reddy’s I am Woman is hard to
beat! But Mary’s theme song is an essential part of Luke’s telling of the Christmas story.
Mary’s theme song in the Magnificat. It is said or sung all around the world as part
of church services every day, not just at Christmas. The Magnificat expresses Mary’s
amazement and delight at God’s action’s towards her, a “humble servant girl” and then goes
on to tell of the magnificence of God. It contains a subversive message and is regarded by
some as the oldest Advent hymn. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor executed by the
Nazis, said about the Magnificat in the year Hitler came to power: “It is at once the most
passionate, the wildest, one might even say the most revolutionary Advent hymn ever
sung”. It tells of a God who challenges the way things have always been done and does
them in a different way.
Mary’s response to her unique situation was gratitude and joy and her story
encourages us that God works in ways we may never expect and God continues to amaze us
When I was Mary’s age I would have called the Magnificat testimony, and I certainly
wouldn’t have been singing mine! But we worship the same God as Mary, and our God is
also mighty, holy and merciful and we can benefit from expressing our gratitude and telling
others about what God has done. Our stories, both communal and individual, are powerful,
they encourage, they cause others to be grateful, let’s share them and if you have the skills
you might even do that through a song!
By Sally Nash
Join us this advent.
Frontier Youth Trust is a home for pioneer youth workers. As part of our shared rhythm of life we have invited pioneers from within our community to contribute a reflection about a character from the nativity story. We will be posting these reflections throughout advent.
We invite you to journey with us and discover the story afresh.