Advent Invitation

Songs of Survival

by Rev. Sharon Benton

My soul lifts up Adonai!

My spirit celebrates God, my Liberator!
For though I’m God’s humble servant, God has noticed me.
Now and forever, I will be considered blessed by all
generations. For the Mighty One has done great things for me; holy is God’s name!
From generation to generation, God’s lovingkindness endures for those who revere Adonai.

God’s arm has accomplished mighty deeds.
The proud in mind and heart, God has sent away in
The rulers from their high positions of power, God has brought down low.
And those who were humble and lowly, God has
elevated with dignity.
The hungry—God has filled with fine food.
The rich—God has dismissed with nothing in
their hands.
To Israel, God’s servant, God as given help,
As promised to our ancestors, remembering Abraham and his descendants in mercy forever.

-Luke 1:46-55 (The Voice interpretation)

It’s been a hard year for some of us, and many wonder about the future. We witness physical and spiritual violence happening from the halls of power to our home hallways. We work to curb climate change and lift up healthcare for all. We live with disease and dis-ease. There are too many worries to name in one paragraph, so you can name your own…
Mary, mother of Jesus, also faced hardship. Living in a country occupied by militaristic powers, she suddenly found herself pregnant and unmarried, a precarious situation for anyone, but particularly for a woman in first century Judea. And yet, we have this story of Mary breaking into a song of hope. She’s reaching for survival—not just for herself, but for her child and her nation.
As Mary experienced inspiration to get her through that situation, we’re singing songs of survival throughout Advent this year. Music can express so much: our hope, our rage, our belief, our bitterness, our doubt, our longing. Through Advent we’ll be singing familiar carols and new songs of courage. We are reaching for God’s future. Whatever you need in this season, I pray you might come and share it among your community of faith as we live in expectation of God-with-Us, Emmanuel.