The View from the Vicarage: Mary’s Song

Today the church observes the feast of the Annunciation of our Lord to the Blessed Virgin Mary, The readings all feel a bit Christmas for Lent yet of course it is 9 months before Christmas, it is but a pregnancy away!

In our lunchtime service we remembered Mary, how she might have been feeling when the Angel Gabriel gave her that startling news, when she learned her life would never be the same again. This evening at evening prayer we said the Magnificat as we would normally but tonight it struck me afresh, I have used the Book of Common Prayer version below:

My soul doth magnify the Lord.
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded : the lowliness of his handmaiden: For behold, from henceforth : all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath magnified me: and holy is his Name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him: throughout all generations.
He hath shewed strength with his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat: and hath exalted the humble and meek.
He hath filled the hungry with good things: and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel :
As he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed for ever.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.

This is the song of a frightened young woman who has the weight of the world upon her shoulders, an unknown future and the possibility of being publicly shamed and yet her response to God is a beautiful hymn of praise to the God who chose her, and the God who will scatter the proud, exalt the humble and fill the hungry.

Tonight I turn to hymns of praise, the sun warmed me today and as I opened the windo the birdsong surrounded me. We have much to pray for, much to be fearful for – just like Mary and yet also like Mary we have much  more to praise God for we to must let our souls magnify the Lord.

I leave you with another favourite hymn of mine, I think you might know it:

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee ….

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on a Cross, my burdens gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee ….

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!”

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee ….

Your friend and Vicar



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