During this season of Advent, we are waiting. I am personally waiting for calm, for a sense of peace in our world that surpasses all of our understanding. Most importantly during this increasingly divided time – when racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, gun violence and so much hate fills our lives – I am waiting for Mary’s yes. I am waiting to join in Mary’s Joy Revolution. I am waiting to join in the song.
We wait for Mary’s song of joyful participation of the holy becoming manifest in her life. Mary’s song is a song of resistance against what we think we know. We wait for Mary’s song of hope. Mary’s song is a song of resistance against social order. Mary says, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). She gladly and joyfully accepts this honor. Mary chooses to say yes. Mary’s song is her acceptance of the divine, and as much as God chooses Mary, Mary chooses to say yes to God and to Jesus.
Mary believed, and because of her joy, she sang.
Songs provide hope. Songs provide meaning. Songs are also resistance. Mary’s song is about the God of mercy. It is the promise that God will always lift up the lowly, the lonely, the oppressed — not just in her own time, but in every time. In God’s kin-dom, it is not a king or ruler, but a baby. God’s kin-dom, is a baby born to a poor family, a family that is from Nazareth, a family that is not married, a family that is young.
Mary’s song is a song of resistance to everything society tells us is true. We sing with the protestors. We sing with slaves who sought and continue to seek freedom. We sing with children who are gathered here, or on the streets, in shelters, seeking a home, or surviving human trafficking. We sing with those who live in fear of their lives. We sing with those affected by the 307 mass shootings so far this year.
We sing with individuals gathered in prayer with candles singing songs of lament and loss. We sing with those who are trapped in war. We sing with those who have no home. We sing because song is prayer. We sing because Mary taught us to sing.
We sing in the revolution of the power of God. We sing, because Mary sang and continues to sing. Because singing is powerful. Singing is love, despair, lament and hope. Singing is resistance.
Song is joy because Mary’s song is bringing our savior into the world. Mary trusted in God so much that she accepted her task to carry our savior, to bring salvation into the world. Mary loved her son, our Christ, enough to let him go — to fulfill the plan God had for the redemption of our world.
Mary’s radical love enabled her, and all of us, to participate in God’s economy of justice: where the hungry are fed, the lowly raised up, and a young mother shares the truth with us all. It is this young mother who taught us that joy is a revolution.
This is what I am waiting for this season of Advent. I am waiting for the cacophony of voices to join in the song. I am (patiently) waiting as we sing joy as resistance. Advent is about waiting, but it doesn’t mean standing still. May we join in the song of the joy revolution!
JOANNA HIPP is a free-range pastor in the Presbytery of Charlotte. She is a member of the presbytery’s Ministry Resource Committee, vice president of the Alum Board of Louisville Seminary and serves on the Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice. Joanna loves minions, colorful pants and all sports.