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Advent Reflection – Twenty-Third Day of Advent

December 19th, 2016 by Stephen Bauman

My Soul Gives Glory to My God

Scroll down for to view the hymn and listen to the audio.

The Rev. Dr. Stephen Bauman

Mary’s song is presented in the minor key here, which lends a quality of introspection—less triumph, more soulful gratitude.  She is still passionate, purposeful and heartfelt, but humbled by the enormity of the gift that comes.

2000 years later we still celebrate with Mary the in-breaking of God’s good purposes in a brand new way.  Every generation adds to the refrain in the realization that there is much work yet to be accomplished.  “From age to age, to all who fear, such mercy love imparts, dispensing justice far and near, dismissing selfish hearts.”  She sang that in her day, and we sing it in our own, recognizing that human procrastination has blocked full progress in conforming our ways to God’s.

One gift Mary gives to us is a clear testimony that pulls the curtain back on the status of the world’s advance toward “justice far and near” while “dismissing selfish hearts.”  With some humility I tell you this takes me into an interior examination of my own heart, my own stilted desire for justice, my own selfishness.  In this way joining her song becomes a confession of sorts, an acknowledgment that I have a ways to go in honoring the life of her son.

But here’s the thing: I confess this with the ready knowledge that grace abounds and all that’s required of me is to receive it.  And for that, “my soul gives glory to my God.”

Prayer: Holy One, thank you for the clear testimony of your daughter, Mary.  Help me to join her song with integrity.  Amen.




Stephen Bauman

Rev. Dr. Stephen P. Bauman is the Senior Minister at Christ Church.