Luke 1: 39-55

A group from Pilgrim recently studied the book of Amos. Although it’s quite a depressing book, we really appreciated reading and studying it together.  Along the way we compared it at times with some of the other prophetic writings.

Perhaps this is why I’ve found myself listening to ‘Mary’s Song’ in Luke 1 a little differently this time around, and hearing its strong prophetic elements more clearly than I have before.

By the time Luke’s Gospel is written – perhaps 50-50 years after Jesus’ death – the words of a very early hymn or prayer have become linked with Mary, the mother of Jesus. They draw heavily on the style and content of Hannah’s prayer when she discovers her pregnancy with Samuel (1 Sam 2:1-10).

Mary’s thanksgiving is as powerful as Hannah’s, and contains the same sense that her child will usher in the way of GOD through prophetic word and action.

Like Samuel and so many of the other prophets, Mary draws the people back to what GOD is doing in their midst which, after all, is what prophets do.

Through Mary’s magnificent song, Luke calls the people of his time to pay attention once more to GOD’s way of being in the world: a way which upturns conventional seeing and doing, which challenges “the way things are”, and calls people into new and deeper imagining of the way the world can be.

Rod Peppiatt
Pilgrim Launceston Uniting Church