Jesus has been on my mind a lot this advent, even though I'm not sure I qualify as Christian any more.
I'm planning to read my way through all four gospels soon, and focus on the words Jesus spoke, because I'm interested in who he said he was. I know those words were recorded decades after his death, and the mutable magic of memory ensures inaccurate reporting, but reading them is the only way to explore this question*.
But today it was Mary's words which rang out, as she sang her song of hope and triumph to Elizabeth:
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices, in God, my savior.
She sang at the revelation that God was with her, within her, part of her, produced by her, replicated and pushed out into the world. Grown, magnified, birthed.
Her soul did magnify God, as did her body. Literally.
Through Mary the presence of God was welcomed, fed, protected, carried, and grown into the divine iteration known as Jesus. Her body and his, both holy temples of the holy spirit.
Mary sang about the coming of Immanuel, meaning "God with us," and I've been wondering something. Maybe Jesus didn't save us by dying to satisfy his father's bottomless thirst for blood. Maybe his salvation was the command to wake up and recognize that God is with us. Immanuel.
God is within us, within those around us, and within all things; past, present, and future.
And maybe that knowledge has the power to save us from being consumed by darkness.
Christmas can be challenging for those in the process of deconstructing their faith. I'm still figuring out who I think Jesus is. But this year, I am going to celebrate Christmas, regardless.
May my soul magnify the presence of God.
Immanuel: God with us.
*The non-canonical gospels are also on my list.