Ironic Advent 2016 Meditation #20:
Yes, Mark, Mary Did Know.
Ben Camino is happy to welcome Jennifer Woodruff Tait, a depraved sinner saved by Wesleyan grace (OK if I make up a bio, Jennifer?) and an Episcopal priest, to share today's Ironic Advent Meditation. Jennifer and her entire family are my very dear friends, and, make some appearance every year in my Advent texts. Last night, I re-posted one of my favorite meditations, featuring the Woodruff Tait family, from back in 2013. Here's a link to that: Sometimes a Light Surprises.
And soon, I hope, I will share a guest meditation from Jennifer's husband, Edwin.
Fact is, Jennifer, Edwin, and I sort of started "Ironic Advent Musings" with a prompt from a sermon by Father Richard Miller back in 2012. That's why I always share a piece she wrote after Father Rich's sermon at the beginning of my ironic Advent journey every year. Of course, as Jennifer would remind me, W. H. Auden started it before any of us.
The original idea for this piece, according to Jennifer, was from Sarah Morice Brubaker. Of course the original song lyrics were by Mark Lowry*, who used to get lots of gigs as a Christian comedian. The basic snarky take on the song as a sort of alternative, wrong version of "The Visitation" (the second "Joy of Mary" for those counting) and "The Magnificat" has been around awhile though, given the Batman/Robin memes like the one above which I've seen for several years.
And, finally, we want to make sure to give credit to a woman not usually listed among the prophets, Mary of Nazareth, the mother of Jesus. What an inspired song, poem, prophecy, performance, call and response (with Elizabeth) it is. Someone should set that to music someday. Actually, as you might have guessed, there are a few thousand beautiful arrangements of the Magnificat, one of which I've linked at the end of this piece.
Here we go with a verses of the song followed by relevant passages from Mary's prophecy.
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you.
My soul doth magnify the Lord : and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden.
For behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath magnified me and holy is his Name.
Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.
And his mercy is on them that fear him throughout all generations.
He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
The blind will see, the deaf will hear and the dead will live again
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the Lord.
Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you're holding is the great I am.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat : and hath exalted the humble and meek.
He hath filled the hungry with good things : and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed for ever.
Here is a link to a setting from the English Renaissance, William Byrd's "shorter version"
"Mary Did You Know?"
By Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene
Copyright Word Music, Inc. and Rufus Music C/O Gaither Music Co
This inter-textual reading of the two works was first published on Facebook by Jennifer Woodruff Tait, December 13, 2016, as "Yes, Mary Did Know."
The Batman meme is just out there on Meme Generator. You can go right here http://es.memegenerator.net/instance/66165568 and change the words to something about Trump's Cabinet or Duke basketball.
"The Magnificat," (Luke 1: 46-55) is taken from the Authorized Version of the Bible.
My introduction and these references and all other stuff that I do can not be used, abused, blues-ed, or deconstructed without the express written consent of Ben Camino Ltd. International Enterprises. Or you can call my bluff, realize that there is no such thing, and just post and share this with links to my blog and/or mentions of it. But if you sue someone, go after Jennifer.