Preaching the Whole Magnificat

By Nadia Bolz-Weber 12-22-2009

Again this Wednesday we joined the broader church in singing vespers, the evening prayer which always includes Mary's song, the Magnificat. We joined Christ's church and Christ's mother in singing about the wondrous things God has done in blessing us and in casting the mighty from their thrones and in feeding the hungry and sending the rich away empty.

Some of you know that the church I went to in High School, and where my parents still attend, is a very theologically and socially conservative congregation in Centennial. It's, suburban, white, very upper middle class, and privileged. Very privileged. Well a few years ago, over 10 years after becoming a Lutheran and singing the Magnificat in Vespers countless times and really loving how radical it was, I visited my parent's church and was amazed to see in the worship folder that the closing song was the Magnificat.

All through the service I kept thinking "I can't believe that this wealthy suburban evangelical church is going to sing Mary's song of the poor being fed and the rich being left hungry". Finally the moment came. The congregation sang a praise music setting of

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