So the other day we were studying the Magnificat at my Bag Lunch Bible Study. Well, we were studying the Magnificat and the scene before that, the scene where Mary and Elizabeth meet, and Elizabeth's baby leaps in her womb, and Elizabeth speaks all these things about Mary (blessed are you among women....).
We were focussing no the magnificat for awhile, trying to get our brains around this song, this poetry of Mary's, trying to figure out whether it was good news for us, whether we were the rich who were going to go away empty or the poor who would be filled. We all felt more on the poor side, truthfully, but recognized that it was complicated, and that there were people with hands emptier than ours.
And the people kept talking about this wonderful, marvelous thing that had happend to Mary, what a privilege it was, how special, how great.
My eyes and ears kept going over to the last thing Elizabeth said to Mary, before Mary burst into praise:
"Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord." (vs. 45)
"Blessed is she who believed...."
So what is it that Mary believed?
First, she believed that she was going to have a baby. She was really going to have a baby.
Second, she believed that through her, and through this baby, God's vision for Israel, God's vision for the whole world, would come true. She believed it so much that in her song, she sang as if it had already happened, "he has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty." Has that happened yet, even now? And yet Mary sings as if the poor have hands full of blessings, the lowly have been empowered, even now.
And then there's three, one perhaps we forget in the midst of wranglings about the importance of the virgin birth, or the work of doing justice
Third, she believed that everything would work out.... somehow. She believed that somehow God would work out the fact that she was pregnant and not married, and all of the complications and messiness that would mean for her.
"Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord."
Anyway, that's what I think. What do you think? And what difference does it make?