Mary’s song reveals God’s heart for us all.

Albert Einstein observed that if you split a particle and then separate the halves, both halves will continue to behave as one. The name for this is quantum entanglement. The bond that is formed is so strong and enduring, that even at a distance, the particles act as one.

When I contemplate this passage and the idea of the Incarnation, I see Divine-human entanglement. The beauty of this passage is that it shows us that God is not distanced or withdrawn, but deeply cares. The Incarnation of Christ is like God yelling, “What happens to you, happens to me.” Even with the distance between humanity and the Divine – God is moved. One way to consider a phrase in the Lord’s Prayer is that we are praying a prayer of entanglement: Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. It’s as if we are praying, “God, so form a strong and enduring bond with us, so that what moves you moves us.” And indeed, our hearts should be moved by what moves the heart of God.

Mary’s song is often called the Magnificat, because of the Latin word for “Magnify.” She is making the deeds and kindness of God large for all to see. What does she say? Well, it might make us a bit uncomfortable depending on our situation. She says that God has removed the mighty from the thrones, the rich are sent away empty, and the hungry are given their fill. Why or how does Mary link the Incarnation and the future birth of Jesus to these reversals? God indubitably cares how societies and cultures are arranged.

John Dominic Crossan (God and Empire: Jesus Against Rome, Then, and Now) brings to light an important event in the life of Mary, Joseph, and the very young Jesus. Shortly after the birth of Jesus, a series of Jewish peasant revolts began as people yearned for a better life. Rome gobbled up resources, so much so that a super-majority of people only had enough food for today and tomorrow’s meal was in question. Rome sent Syrian troops to quell a rebellion and killed, assaulted or enslaved the inhabitants of Sepphoris. Jesus grew up 4 miles from there and Mary and Joseph would have likely known people who lost family members.

God cares about who rules and how they rule. God cares about Empires and whether or not people have enough to eat. Later in his public ministry, Jesus would provide food on multiple occasions – with subsistence living, this was crucial: to meet the needs of the people made invisible by corruption.

Mary sings of the salvation of God, and her song tells of salvation. Yet, notice she does say, “My child is all about wiping out sin.” She exclaims that God’s salvation reverses the effects of sin: injustice, corruption, and anything that keeps good away from the people. Salvation, in this instance, is when the invisible people are seen by God.

The rich are sent away empty because their hands are already full. The poor do not even have the rich to help them, so God acts on their behalf.

This is entanglement. God has shown that what moves the heart of the people also moves God’s heart. This is found in Exodus as well as God says, “I’ve heard you lament your oppression and now I will act.”

What might it look like for us to live out our strong and enduring bond of grace and reconciliation with God? Could we also see those made invisible by society? One way our church responded was by collecting gift cards for the Grace Smith House to support their clients who have been made invisible by domestic violence. These individuals often leave their violent partner with literally nothing else: often leaving medication, clothes, and other belongings behind. This is one way we can help Mary’s song be heard: you are seen, not forgotten by God or your neighbor. May we join in Mary’s song and rejoice in justice, exult in mercy, and be moved by the compassionate heart of God.

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