Treasure Valley Prays


Majestic scene of mountain

Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” (Luke 1:46)

Mary’s song (often called the Magnificat from the Latin word “magnify) looms large in the texts from the Daily Lectionary (Evangelical Lutheran Worship, page 1121) for this day, two days before Christmas Eve.

I draw your attention to two brief gifts from others to help you center your meditation and prayers related to this beautiful carol of the universe.

Joel B. Green in his commentary in the New Interpreters’ Study Bible makes these brief comments. (p. 1854)

“Mary’s Song … grounds her praise and God’s present activity in God’s faithfulness and ancient promise. Luke especially highlights two motifs: (1) God the warrior, who engages in battle on behalf of God’s people and brings them to deliverance, and (2) God the merciful, who remembers the lowly and cares for the needy. God’s overruling of human rulers is not a punitive act, but rather places them in a position where they, too, might experience the graciousness of God.”

The last sentence here stops me sharply in my tracks. Maybe in these words I’m catching a glimpse of the new order God introduced in Jesus and of which Mary sings praises. When all begin from their lowliness, then all will be lifted up to enjoy all the new wholeness God is creating???!!! So much to ponder in these words!

Michael Coffey writes these words at the end of his poem “Magnifying Glass” on Mary’s song.

“You (God) come into this gunning, shot-up world Mary sings of your power and peace and your only weapon is a willing womb You magnify us with your round looking glass and see our microscopic lives as large and our greatness you smoke out with focused light In turn our souls magnify you, you unexpected world flipper, As we look up through the lens of goodness and mercy And just your eye fills up the monocle of the sky”*

I am left speechless, yet filled with sighs…ooohhh…and awes aaahhh!!!


O God of light, love, and life, stop us in our tracks so that we have time to be quiet in your presence and magnify you and the wholeness you are bringing to our universe. Teach us to love, treasure, forgive, heal, and be kind to every person, creature, and all your creation. Amen.

*Michael Coffey, Mystery Without Rhyme or Reason, Resource Publications, Eugene, OR, 2015, p. 123

Picture of Keith Hammer

Keith Hammer

Retired ELCA pastor

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