My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; * for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: * the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him * in every generation.
The canticle appointed for today comes from Luke 1. 46 - 55, the Song of Mary also known as the Magnificat. Mary sings these words to her cousin Elizabeth when they see each other for the first time after they are both pregnant. In the song, Mary proclaims the greatness of the Lord and her awe that he has shown her the favor of carrying his Son into the world. She then goes on to outline all that God has done in the world up until this point almost as a prophecy of what the child she is carrying will continue today. What she describes is often called the Divine Reversal, which is the way of God. The poor become rich, the hungry filled, the mighty tumble and the weak strong. This is what it means to live in this counter-cultural world to which we belong. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament saw it, and we live it today. The baby Mary carries in her womb is the fulfillment of the promise God made to Abraham and David, and it is our promise today. The most unlikely happens in this world of the Kingdom of God.
As I sat on the side of the highway this week with a flat tire, I thought about the Magnificat, having just an hour before discussed it in our bible study. I know, it seems odd, but what else was I supposed to do with traffic whizzing by, knowing that AAA couldn't come for 3 ½ hours? I thought about the Divine Reversal, I thought about how I could possibly get through this situation I was in without falling apart, and I began to notice little things for which to be thankful...like ac! I was able to keep the car running and be cool. and sons...who were scurrying around on their phones trying to arrange for help in fewer than 3 ½ hours! and then the Gratitude begat more Gratitude! The cars were still whizzing and the diesel brakes were still screeching, but I was able to feel almost womb like in my safe space...and then the angels showed up!
Bailey and Ernie arrived in their service trucks. I had been intentional about watching in my rear view mirror just incase a car might veer off the road and hit me (not sure what I thought I could do if that happened, but it seemed like a good thing to be watching out for!) When I saw the service truck with its flashing lights pull over in the safety lane, I knew help was on its way! First Bailey arrived, shook my hand and got to work. Then Ernie arrived, and together they changed my tire. Their trucks even gave me some shade to sit in while they changed the tire.
In a simple way, this story has all the elements of Advent, and trite as it is, I thought it was indicative of the power of scripture and life application of it. The chaos of the world whizzing around us, the desperate need to find protection and peace, the Light in the darkness, and the arrival of angels. Bailey and Ernie are technicians for Ringpower Corporation, and I am pretty sure no one has ever called them angels in that job! But I sure hope one day I can tell them what angels they were for me.