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Over the past year I have committed to memory the lines of Mary’s song, known also as the Magnificat, as recorded in the Gospel according to Luke. The structure of this song suggests a hymn of praise we are all able to pray, with variations we compose ourselves to link our prayer directly to our own circumstances.
I have been impressed by the richness of the range of passages in the Hebrew Scriptures from which Mary’s song is drawn. Some of these are noted beside the lines to which they relate. You may like to suggest other passages from which Mary may have drawn inspiration.
Gospel according to Luke 1: 46-56 (NIV)
Mary’s song – 1 Samuel 2: 1-10 and Psalm 34
46 And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord (Isaiah 61: 10a)
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, (Psalms 16: 9, 18: 48; Isaiah 61: 10b)
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me –
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation. (Genesis 18: 18, 22: 17)
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. (Psalms 18: 27, 68: 1, 138: 6)
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble. (Psalms 18: 27, 113: 7, 138: 6)
53 He has filled the hungry with good things (Psalm 107:9)
but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful (Genesis 17: 7)
55 to Abraham and his descendants for ever, (Micah 7: 20)
just as he promised our ancestors.”
56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.
You may like to compose your own prayer of gratitude to God for Christmas 2018.