A few times in my life I’ve been utterly overwhelmed by an outpouring of God’s grace and mercy.
And like David who danced before the Lord when the Ark was returned to Jerusalem, I simply can’t contain myself. I want to move my body in response to the rhythm of the good news.
So I understand Mary’s response to Elizabeth’s blessing:
And Mary said,
I’m bursting with God-news;
I’m dancing the song of my Savior God.
God took one good look at me, and look what happened—
I’m the most fortunate woman on earth!
What God has done for me will never be forgotten,
the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others.
His mercy flows in wave after wave
on those who are in awe before him.
He bared his arm and showed his strength,
scattered the bluffing braggarts.
He knocked tyrants off their high horses,
pulled victims out of the mud.
The starving poor sat down to a banquet;
the callous rich were left out in the cold.
He embraced his chosen child, Israel;
he remembered and piled on the mercies, piled them high.
It’s exactly what he promised,
beginning with Abraham and right up to now.
56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three months and then went back to her own home. Luke 1:46-56 MSG
Known as The Magnificat, Mary’s heartfelt response to the work God was doing in and through her is a perfect introduction into the upside down Kingdom Christ came to establish.
The Jews were under occupation, under the thumb of a pagan Roman government where might made right and the outcast poor had no hope for justice.
But the Holy Spirit revealed to Mary how very great was this Good News-no longer would evil reign nor the wicked rule. God’s mercy would be supreme! His people would be blessed and every single promise of the Lord would be fulfilled.
So she danced to the tune of salvation. Even though the music was faint and far away.
I’m invited to dance to the same song because God’s promises are sure.
Sometimes I have to strain to hear the music.
But if I lean in and listen closely, it’s there.
- Have you ever experienced a moment when you were utterly overwhelmed with a sense of God’s goodness and faithful love? How did it make you feel?
- Mary’s song emphasizes the truth that God will not allow injustice to reign. He will make every single thing right. But it can be hard to wait sometimes. Does this promise make waiting any easier for your heart? Why or why not?
- Sometimes we look around and think, “What’s the point of trying to live a righteous life? The rich get richer and the poor get poorer!” Do you think that there is an eternal reward that outweighs any temporal inequity?
- Music and dancing go hand in hand. God has created us to be physical and sensual beings. Have you ever been so moved by truth (especially when presented in musical form) that you could not help by responding with your whole body?
Father God, You never fail. Your purposes are sure and cannot be thwarted. You will not allow injustice to rule forever. You sent your Son to set the record straight, to pay the price and to squash evil tyranny.
It’s true that He has not yet established His Kingdom in its fullness. But the enemy doesn’t stand a chance. The devil is on the defensive and we are guaranteed victory.
Help me hold on to the fullness of the gospel message-not only that my eternal hope is secure (and those I love who have received salvation through Christ) but that You are working in and through your people to restore justice and equity in the world right now.
Make me an instrument of your peace. Give me words of hope to share with a frightened and confused world. Let me lead others in the dance of my Savior.