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Weekly worship: 15 December

Bibi Aisha
Bibi Aisha and her daughter
Luke 1: 46-55


Mary’s song, or the Magnificat, is a radical and revolutionary song of joy and justice, an anthem for women and other oppressed groups seeking to uproot the structures and systems that keep them on the margins of society and denied a full and free life.

Mary sings for the proud to be scattered, the powerful to be brought down from their thrones, the rich to be sent away empty. It is a song that rails against inequality, but ‘is not the song of a victim but one that proclaims liberation with tough authority’.

In this song we find faith and hope that the present inequality faced by women across the world will be redressed. No longer will women be 4% more likely to live in extreme poverty than men. No longer will women in developing countries have no say over their own healthcare. One in three women will no longer experience gender based violence in their lifetime. 830 women will no longer die everyday from preventable causes related to pregnancy or childbirth around the world.

In listening to Mary’s song, we hear the prophetic joy of believing how things can be. Like Hannah in the Old Testament (1 Samuel 1:11 and 2:1-10), Mary believes in that day when the lowly will be lifted up and the hungry will be filled with good things. She sings with women like Ranjita in India and Bibi in Afghanistan, both featured in our Christmas appeal this year, and we join with their song when we too believe and working for that day when no woman is treated as a second class citizen.

Full sermon notes and prayers for Advent and Christmas based on the Magnificat can be found here:

Advent week 3 prayer

In anticipation of You,

a girl raised her voice,

in courage and praise,

in joy and expectation,

in resistance and struggle.


In anticipation of You,

put flesh on our faith

to put words into action,

to call for equality,

to work for justice.


In anticipation of You,

let the lowly be raised,

the crushed be restored,

the bruised be resilient,

the powerful be restrained.


In anticipation of You,

let us be filled with hope,

to say yes to your will,

to share our gifts and resources,

to work together for a world reborn.

In your name we pray, Amen.

Published on 28 November 2019

Resource language
  • Global
Themes – Areas of work
  • Theology