The First Songs of Christmas: Mary's Song
This song of Mary's, known as the Magnificat, has been called by the great Methodist missionary of two generations ago E. Stanley Jones (who once preached at First Church) "the most revolutionary document in the world." That's quite a statement.
The revolutionary aspects of this song of Mary's are often overlooked. We are overtaken by the beauty of the words, mesmerized by the music it is often sung to, or even tranquilized by the magnificent poetry. But it's still revolutionary. The proud are scattered. The rulers are dethroned. The humble are exalted. The hungry are fed. They rich are sent away empty. Martin Luther once said this song "comforts the lowly and terrifies the rich." And this song echos the message of Jesus. The first shall be last and the last shall be first. The beatitudes. The parable of the rich man and Lazarus. All of these teachings of Jesus' are known as the "great reversal" in which everything is turned upside down. The great reversal is fear-invoking and dangerous to the rich, powerful, and religious, but it is life-giving and salvific to the poor, the powerless, and the sinner.
This Sunday at First Church we will be examining this song of Mary's known as the Magnificat. We will study the history of this song, examine how this song was echoed in Jesus' life and ministry, and be challenged to live out the message of this song. I look forward to seeing you and greeting each one of you at 10:45 this Sunday morning as we celebrate "The First Songs of Christmas" at OKC First Church.