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Advent: Mary’s Subversive Good News

December 11, 2012

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Recently I pulled Kathleen Norris’ wonderful book Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith off the shelf again to read periodically, as a supplement to some seminary coursework I’ve been doing. Today Spacious Faith shared a powerful quote from the book-which happened to be one of my favorites-and perfect for Advent. I’ve added a little more of Norris’ text below, as she writes about the power of Mary’s Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55):

The song is praise of the God who has blessed two insignificant women in an insignificant region of ancient Judea, and in so doing “has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly: [who] has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty” (Luke 1:52-53). I later learned that these words echo the song of Hannah in First Samuel, as well as the anguish of the prophets. They are a poetic rendering of a theme that pervades the entire biblical narrative-when God comes into our midst, it is to upset the status quo.

The Magnificat’s message is so subversive that for a period during the 1980’s the government of Guatemala banned its public recitation (a sanction that I’m sure the monasteries of that country violated daily). (117)

A subversive message, about a God who stirs things up. That’s Advent.

photo credit: Lawrence OP via photopin cc

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