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Mary's song

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Luke 1:46-55
And Mary said: "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.

"From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me--holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.

"He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts ... He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble ... He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty ... He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers."

Mary's verbs (what she's doing): "My soul glorifies ... my spirit rejoices."

God's verbs (what He is doing): "He has been mindful ... he has done great things for me ... his mercy extends ... he has performed mighty deeds ... he has scattered those who are proud ... he has lifted up the humble ... he has filled the hungry ... he has sent the rich away empty ... he has helped his servant forever.

God put me on earth to worship him. I just can't get away from that conviction. There's nothing more important. He does all the hard stuff; when I think it's my job, then I get so distracted I forget to worship. Which is really my job anyway.

Genesis calls man to be fruitful, multiply and subdue the earth. That's work, of course. And Genesis 3 says we will live by the sweat of our brows and experience much pain, in childbirth and at plenty of other times. The world as I know it is designed for me to work, solve problems, get things done, be creative and make something happen. And that must be something of what God meant by "subdue."

But Mary's song is echoed over and over in the Bible. Praising God, "glorifying him," worshipping him. The verbs are different but their thrust is the same: put God on his throne and find my own place on my knees before it.

Finding balance between my work and my worship is a great challenge, a challenge to embrace and be grateful for, not to shy away from.

Praise you, Father. Thank you for preparing a place for me, setting a table for me, caring always every moment for all of what I need. Let me work hard with what you give me.

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