What does it mean to sing the song of life?
Mary sang the Magnificat because she knew the hope of God’s presence as Elizabeth blessed her. It would not be the only song in Mary’s life. In the journey ahead, there would be the sound of angels singing as her child was born. There would be the frantic notes of a mother calling for her 12-year-old son whom she could not find as he sat with the teachers in the temple. There would be the harmony of pleasure over her child who would do so much to help other people. There would be the major chords of pride as her son was proclaimed a king on Palm Sunday. There would be the minor chords of tears and inward pain as Mary stood by the cross. There would be the breathlessness of praise as she understood that the song of God’s eternal love cannot be silenced as the God who gave life to her son on Christmas Day gave life to God’s only Son on Easter Day.
Mary experienced the song of life. In the midst of joy and tears, questions and wonders, the melody of Mary’s life was written as her soul magnified the Lord.
Judith Stotland traveled to Israel where she stood in front of the wailing wall, the only remaining part of the temple where a 12-year-old Jesus talked with the teachers. There is a tradition of writing your prayers on a piece of paper and placing the paper in the cracks of the wall. On her piece of paper, Judith had written her prayer for her two sons. David was her youngest who, by the age of 3, had been hospitalized 14 times and undergone surgery 11 times for congenital glaucoma. Ari was her oldest son who had difficulties in coping with the attention given to his brother’s illness. As Judith stood in front of the wailing wall, she was worn down. She was uncertain of how she would cope with the future.
Judith searched the wall for a place for her prayer, but all she could see were prayers which had already been offered. Reaching as high as possible, she prayed, “Please, God, let there be a place in this world for my children” and placed her prayer in a small empty spot. Above where she had placed her prayer, something moved.
It was a bird which seemed stuck. As Judith wondered if she could do anything to help the bird, it turned around and the heads of two baby birds appeared. A mother bird had somehow found a small place in that massive wall to make a nest. As Judith stood looking up, tears began to flow, and Judith’s soul began to magnify the Lord. If there was a space in that wall for a mother bird and her two fledglings, there was a place for her and her two sons. Standing in front of the wall, Judith began to sing the song of life.
This morning, we join Mary and the generations of faith in the hope of God’s presence. Today, with Mary, we sing the song of life in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Song of Life
by Pastor Marc Brown
December 11, 2022
Accompanying Scriptures: Luke 1:39-56
Fort Hill United Methodist Church
Order of Worship for December 11, 2022
Scripture Lesson Luke 1:36-59
The Good News “The Song of Life”
Music “What Child is This?” Hymn #219
Closing Music “Of the Father’s Love Begotten” arr. Terry Osman