Advent Sunday Magnificat – with footnotes for smug self-identifying “Christians”.
For Advent Sunday –
an Annotated Magnificat.
Clearing up a few unhappy ambiguities in Mary’s statement.
King James Version (KJV)
46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord[i],
47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.[ii]
49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.[v]
50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.[vi]
52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.[vii]
53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.[viii]
54 He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
55 As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.[ix]
[i] By “The Lord” Mary means a sort of projection of our own sense of cultural and economic privilege – a kind of “Apostrophe” to our own petty fears and prejudices rather than anything that’s actually bigger than us that might challenge our assumptions at any point.
[ii] See above – note that “My Saviour” implies saviour of people like me. Mine – not yours necessarily – in other words
[iii] God does not of course make a habit of regarding people “of low estate”, except insofar as very privileged people have developed their own version of victimisation. Which of course they have.
[iv] Unmarried teenage girls are not usually to be described as “blessed”. Be assured that while we’ve arranged for this particular teenage pregnancy to be covered up – teenage pregnancies in general are pretty damnable.
[v] I can make this sort of talk compatible with “prosperity gospelism”
[vi] “Scattered like you scatter seed. Don’t think it’s a bad thing. We proud need lots of space around us. Lebensraum.
[vii] See note iii.
[viii] I think we’ll all just hum our way through this bit.
[ix] Ours is essentially a tribal Deity (but not Jewish) who exists merely to give a kind of divine sanction to our gut feeling that people like us deserve stuff that other folk do not.