Two songs: Luke 1.46–79 (16 November 2020)

Bible Society's Daily Reflections follow the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, designed for those who want to read the whole Bible in one year. Each reflection focuses on one of its four daily chapters. Darllenwch rhain yn Gymraeg.



Lord, open my ears to hear what you have to say to me; open my heart to love your word, and open my mind to understand your truth.


Daily reflection: Luke 1.39–80

Mary's song is called the 'Magnificat', after its first word in Latin. It is uncomfortably revolutionary in its scope, something we don't always appreciate when we read it. Zechariah's song is less well known but it's revolutionary too, in a slightly different way.

In what Mary says, God is shown as blessing one individual – Mary, who is to be the mother of the Messiah. But he also blesses all those who honour him; and he blesses the humble, lowly and poor at the expense of the proud, mighty and rich. These are very radical words, and they challenge everything about how we value people and structure our society. Journalists like to talk about how much rich people are 'worth'. Jesus will turn that on its head; not nearly as much as the poor, he will say. What would our churches be like if we really lived out this commitment to the poor and neglected of the world?

Zechariah and Elizabeth are still entwined in the story of Jesus' birth, and Zechariah has a song to sing, too. His son will be a prophet who will 'go ahead of the Lord to prepare his road for him' (verse 76). His message will be one of personal forgiveness and reconciliation: 'Our God is merciful and tender' (verse 78). The light is dawning; Christ is coming. Perhaps in these psalms we can see slightly different visions. Mary's is of a transformed society; Zechariah's is of a transformed people. Jesus changes the world, and he changes you and me.



God, thank you that you love the poor and lowly; thank you that you love me. 'Breathe on me, Breath of God,/ Fill me with life anew,/ That I may love what Thou dost love,/ And do what Thou wouldst do.'

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