Luke 1: 46-55
In Mary’s song of praise, known as the Magnificat, she sings of God’s blessing to her even in her own poverty and humility. She sings of how the proud are brought low, the humble lifted and God is merciful to all who fear him. This radical equality had not come in her
time, and has not yet come in ours: instead, she sings of the certain promise of God’s future kingdom. There will be no poverty or injustice, as his upside-down world is available to everyone regardless of their social background or financial status. With God, there is room.
The Magnificat is often compared to Hannah’s prayer when she learned that she, too, was pregnant (with Samuel – see 1 Samuel 2.1-10). I wondered what a modern version of this might be for our city…
Manchester’s Song of Praise
And Manchester said,
“My very being praises God:
from my underground cellars to the Twentieth Storey,
I rejoice in God my Saviour.
He looks with favour on his worker-city.
From now on, all people will see the city and be amazed,
for God has done great things, and holy is his name.
God is merciful to those who fear him,
from the city bosses to those who work the streets.
He shows his justice across the city.
He scatters the proud, brings down the managing directors,
challenges the politicians, frustrates the bankers and money-makers.
The homeless are housed, the hungry are fed,
the harassed are set free, but the rich are left with nothing.
God has not forgotten his promises – the promises made
to Abraham and his descendants; to Jesus and his disciples;
to cotton mill workers and enigma code breakers –
the promises of justice and peace, lifting the humble
and putting down the proud; promises that are true forever.”
Revd. Catharine Hughes
Merciful God, we praise you for your blessings, your faithfulness throughout
the generations, and for your love for every single one of us. We ask for justice
across our city and our land, that the poor may be lifted up, the hungry fed
and the exploited set free. May our souls glorify you, for evermore. Amen.