Author: Chad Hyatt
I get it. At this point in the pandemic—as if we even know at what point in the pandemic we are—all of us collectively long to put this uncertain season behind us. The pandemic may not be over—but we are certainly over it. So it wasn’t strange when some of our neighbors asked, as many of us have been asking from time to time, ‘When can we get back to normal?’ But by ‘normal’ they meant not having to see poor folks in their neighborhood. Thank God, Mary wasn’t the kind of woman who wanted things to get back to normal: she knew deep down in her bones, felt it in her guts—and probably in her womb, too—that ‘normal’ means nothing good for poor people. And she also knew, just as deeply and just as instinctively, that God wants radical good for those of us who are poor and shunted to the margins—the ones who are rendered invisible beneath the shadows of our individual and communal privilege and power. And so Mary sings: ‘God has scattered those with arrogant thoughts and proud inclinations. God has pulled the powerful down from their thrones and lifted up the lowly. God has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty-handed… remembering his mercy.’ (vv 52-54) Like a prophet, Mary is singing, adding her knowing voice to the song God has been singing from the creation of the world. God doesn’t want normal for us, either—that idolatrous status quo that benefits some at the expense of everyone else. God wants justice and mercy within a creation awakened to its own grace.
Prayer Song of Mary, help us know in our bones we need a new world.