Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Mary, mother of our Lord

Sing of Mary, pure and lowly,
virgin mother, wise and mild.
Sing of God’s own Son most holy,
who became her little child.
Fairest child of fairest mother,
God the Lord who came to earth,
Word made flesh, our very brother,
takes our nature by his birth.

Roland F. Palmer

Today is the feast of Mary, mother of our Lord. The church honours Mary with the Greek title theotokos, meaning God-bearer. Origen first used this title in the early church, and the councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon upheld it. Luther upheld this same title in his writings. The honour paid to Mary as theotokos and mother of our Lord goes back to biblical times when Mary herself sang, "from now on all generations will call me blessed" (Lk 1.48). Mary’s life revealed the presence of God incarnate, and it revealed God’s presence among the humble and poor. Mary’s song, the Magnificat, speaks of reversals in the reign of God: the mighty are cast down, the lowly are lifted up, the hungry are fed, and the rich are sent away empty-handed.

My soul cries out with a joyful shout
that the God of my heart is great,
and my spirit sings of the wondrous things
that you bring to the ones who wait.
You fixed your sight on your servant’s plight,
and my weakness you did not spurn,
so from east to west shall my name be blest.
Could the world be about to turn?

Though I am small, my God, my all,
you work great things in me,
and your mercy will last from the depths of the past
to the end of the age to be.
Your very name puts the proud to shame,
and to those who would for you yearn,
you will show your might, put the strong to flight,
for the world is about to turn.

From the halls of power to the fortress tower,
not a stone will be left on stone.
Let the king beware for your justice tears
ev’ry tyrant from his throne.
The hungry poor shall weep no more,
for the food they can never earn;
there are tables spread, ev’ry mouth be fed,
for the world is about to turn.

Though the nations rage from age to age,
we remember who holds us fast:
God’s mercy must deliver us
from the conqueror’s crushing grasp.
This saving word that our forebears heard
is the promise which holds us bound,
till the spear and rod can be crushed by God,
who is turning the world around.

My heart shall sing of the day you bring.
Let the fires of your justice burn.
Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near,
and the world is about to turn.

Rory Cooney, based on the Magnificat

1 comment:

Luke Jones said...
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