Normally in the Christian calendar, today’s Scripture passage—the Magnificat or Song of Mary—is read during the season of Advent or on the Day of the Annunciation. So it may seem strange and out of context reading it here on the Fourth Sunday of Lent. Yet today begins our fifth theme for Reflect & Reset: “Remember.” As we read the Magnificat, we find the overall theme of Mary’s song is that God remembers, and we are to celebrate!
Months before Jesus was born, His mother Mary proclaimed that God had remembered “his servant Israel” (Luke 1:54). God did not forget the promises made to Mary’s ancestors centuries ago: through her womb, God was sending the long-awaited Savior and Messiah, the Son of God in the flesh. As Mary declared, this Savior was not only going to rescue the Jewish people, but He would redeem all people for all time, His mercy being offered “for those who fear him from generation to generation” (Luke 1:50, NRSV). In Jesus, God would turn the world upside-down, toppling kings from their thrones and lifting up the poor and lowly. Hungry bellies would be filled, and rich rulers would be sent away empty-handed. Through Jesus, God’s remembrance was being fulfilled.
Lent is an opportune season for us to pause and remember. During Lent, we remember our own shortcomings and failings, but we also remember those times when God has been quick to offer mercy and forgiveness. We remember when God has been faithful to us in the past, and we look forward to the fulfillment of Christ’s upside-down Kingdom here on earth.