getting out the Word

mary, mother of our lord

the PRAYER …

Almighty God, in choosing the virgin Mary to be the mother of your Son, you made known your gracious regard for the poor, the lowly, and the despised. Grant us grace to receive your word in humility, and so to be made one with your Son, Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.” luke 1:46-55


When I was diagramming all those sentences back in English class, I never imagined that someday, it’d come in handy writing devotions. But this week, it has! The Magnificat – Mary’s song – is today’s gospel reading. It’s one of the best known and most loved bits of the bible. Probably, second only to Psalm 23. We sing it. We speak it. We hang it on our walls. It’s part of Evening Prayer. Each Advent. Every Christmas. And when August 15 comes around, it’s right there as part of the commemoration of Mary, Mother of Our Lord. And looking at it grammatically, it says a whole lot about believing!

Nine-and-a-half verses. A dozen-or-so verbs. And only twice is Mary the subject! Magnifying! Rejoicing! The rest of the time, it’s, pretty much, all god! Looking with favor! Doing great things! Showing strength! Scattering! Bringing down and lifting up! Filling and sending away! That’s faith! It’s believing in, it’s trusting, what god has done! Believing in and trusting what god’s doing! It’s not about what we should or ought to or must be doing. Faith happens only when god’s the subject of the sentence!