Mary says that God’s display of strength scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts (v. 51). These words have always convicted me because I am among the proud. My personality type is drawn to task lists, plans, detailed preferred outcomes, and timelines. My need for control is a source of sinful pride. My proud agendas fill my mental space and, if I’m not careful, they fill my heart. That’s not what my heart is meant to hold.
Jesus’ coming has a scattering quality about it. Tables are turned. Dogma is threatened. Social hierarchy is destabilized. I expect Jesus’ life had an especially scattering effect on Mary’s. How did God rearrange her plans, preferred outcomes, and timeline? How did the unfair treatment that her son received change her view of her religious community? How did Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection transform Mary’s voice?
When I hear Mary’s song, I consider her later life rather than her early days of motherhood—after she has seen what the proud are capable of, after she realizes how risky it is to undo the prideful.
Anyone who stands up against a big ego knows that none of us give up our pride (or our power) easily. Mary continues singing to us from the other side of her experience with the prideful, announcing both the judgment and freedom that are ours to claim in Christ. Let us be scattered, humbled, and undone so that we might be re-formed through Christ.
When have you felt scattered, humbled, and undone? What was God’s invitation to you in that season?
God who turns the world right-side up, forgive my pride. I make myself available to the soul-restoration that only you can do. Amen.