Advent Mini-meditations from Mennonite Church Manitoba’s working group on Palestine and Israel. 1. The angel’s announcement and justice
Painting of the angel’s visit to Mary,Church of the Annunciation, a prominent holy site and tourist attraction in Nazareth, Israel.
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.” --Mary, in Luke 1:46-47
As a young woman, Mary was so amazed that God had chosen her to be the mother of the Messiah, the Prince of Peace, that she sang this song of praise. Mary was from Nazareth, a humble Jewish village in the hinterlands of Galilee, on the margins of religious and political power. Like Bethlehem and Jerusalem, Nazareth was under the firm military control of the Roman Empire. Today, 2,000 years later, Nazareth is a bustling town in northern Israel, where Christians, Muslims, and Jews live side by side. But like Mary, its citizens experience the struggles of ethnic discrimination and inequality. At this time of year, Christians remember Mary’s proclamation that God has “scattered the proud… and lifted up the lowly” (Luke 1:51-52).
God of peace, at this time of year we rejoice in the coming of Jesus, our Messiah and Saviour. With Mary we hold to your promise of the day when the lowly will be lifted up, with equal dignity. Amen