There are certain times of the church year when familiar Scriptures become familiar stories that we have heard over the years. We become comfortable with the words and our reactions become almost automatic. These are the stories we expect to hear at this time of year and our complacency leads to a familiarity that regulates the words to just another story told at this time. We all know the story told in Luke 1:26-45, which tells of Mary, her betrothal to Joseph, the pregnancy and her willingness to allow God’s will to be done in her life.
Come with me beyond the words to an amazing fact that is often overlooked because we find ourselves lost in the familiar words and doing the “church thing”. As we read on we come to verses 46-56 and here is an amazing fact about this thing we call Christianity. I share again with you from the commentaries of William Barclay.
HERE we have a passage which has become one of the great hymns of the Church – the Magnificat. It is steeped in the Old Testament; and is closely related to Hannah’s song of praise in I Samuel 2 : 1-10. It has been said that religion is the opiate of the people; but it has also been said that the Magnificat is the most revolutionary document in the world. It speaks of three of the revolutions of God.
(I) He scatters the proud in the plans of their hearts. That is a moral revolution. Christianity is the death of pride. Why? Because if people set their lives beside that of Christ, it tears away the last vestiges of their pride.
(2) He casts down the mighty – he exalts the humble. That is a social revolution. Christianity puts an end to the world’s labels and prestige.
(3) He has filled those who are hungry – those who are rich he has sent empty away. That is an economic revolution. A non-Christian society is an acquisitive society where people are out for as much as they can get. A Christian society is a society where no one dares to have too much while others have too little, where everyone must get only to give away. There is loveliness in the Magnificat but in that loveliness there is dynamite. Christianity brings about a revolution in individuals and revolution in the world.
Moral, Social and Economic…….or “Open Doors, Open Minds, Open Hearts”. Are you prepared to go beyond the words? Have we as the church left the door ajar, not open? Are our minds open only to those things that are comfortable for us? Does “Open Hearts” mean that I have to accept people that are different than me? I thought we were saving people, I had no idea this was a revolution!
Are you ready to go beyond the words?