Last week I decided to do something relatively spontaneous, at least particular to my personality. I decided to memorize some scripture. I'll admit the whole memorizing of scripture has never been a strong concept or priority in my life. I think people sometimes memorize scripture as what I have called a "spiritual chore." I don't think that memorizing is necessarily the heart behind the scripture when it tells us to have it "written on our hearts" and when it says to "meditate on it night and day." I think that the fruit of memorizing scripture is not dependant o the action. I believe a deep understanding of what the scriptures say is not exclusively dependant on the memorization of them. I mean this, of course, as "word for word" memorization. I can tell you the basic Idea of Micah 6:8: God desires to "walk" with His people, and that they might walk with Him in humility. I can tell you the Idea behind a particular verse in Jeremiah that tells us God has big plans for us and they're plans of prosperity (however difficult our rout toward it may be). Do I have these verses "memorized?" heck no! But they are deeply rooted... you might say "written on my heart." I can "meditate" on them.
A segment of the first chapter of the gospel of Luke is a "song" or a poem which was poured from the heart of the Mother of Jesus. To give you a little back ground info Marry was born "Ananwim," a people known to be poor yet hopeful in the salvation promised to them by God. They understood what the messiah was to do (although may have hoped for it in a different fashion than the way it turned out). In Celebration of her coming child/king she sang this song:
"My heart praises the Lord,
My soul is Glad because of God my savior.
He has remembered me, His lowly servant.
And all people will call me blessed because of the great things the Mighty God has done for me. His name is holy.
He remembers those who fear Him from one Generation to another.
He stretched out His mighty arm
and scattered the proud people with all their plans.
He brings down mighty kings from their thrones and lifts up the lowly.
He fills the hungry with good things and sends the rich away with empty hands.
He has kept the promise he made with our ancestors.
He came to the help of His servant Israel
and remembered to have mercy on Abraham and his descendants forever."
Is this not a reflection of hope and understanding of the heart of God? We don't often (understanding most of you are protestants) credit this to Mary but she raised Jesus in this hopeful confidence. Can we not see the song of Mary played out and shown in the life of Jesus and in the spirit of His teachings. It seems that Jesus came to fulfill everything that Mary and the Anawim hoped for.
Christ's kingdom is one where rich, oppressive people and Kings are thrown down and sent away "with empty hands." It's one where the "lowly," "the last," "the least of these" are lifted up. Mercy abounds and the proud are "scattered."
Wrap your minds around this, some of you for the first time. Is this not the Kingdom that is open to us today, open that we should struggle and strive to see it realized in the whole of reality? This concept, I submit, was BURNING in the heart of Jesus and probably his disciples.
May our hearts burn like Mary's. May our hearts burn like Jesus'.