Forest Lake Talks

December 14 Advent Devotional

December 14, 2020

My Soul Cries Out with a Joyful Shout – Hymn No. 100

My soul cries out with a joyful shout that the God of my heart is great,

And my spirit sings of the wondrous things that you bring to the ones who wait.

You fixed your sight on your servant’s plight, and my weakness you did not spurn,

So from east to west shall my name be blest. Could the world be about to turn?

My heart shall sing of the day you bring. Let the fires of your justice burn.

Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near, and the world is about to turn.

I love everything about this Advent hymn, subtitled “Canticle of the Turning,” – the text, the catchy tune, and the layers of meaning. It paraphrases in a unique way Mary’s Magnificat found in Luke 1:46-55. The words are set to a traditional Irish folk song.

In the hymn text, Mary cries out to God in joy rather than in despair. She celebrates that God is at work in the world. Mary’s words become our words as she expresses her gratitude to God for the coming of the baby Jesus. She realizes that God sees and understands her weakness and uncertainty as a young, unwed mother. Even though she feels small and insignificant, she has faith that God will work through her in marvelous ways.

As the hymn continues, the “turning” that Christ will bring about on earth is described with great anticipation. The weak will become strong. The proud will be shamed. The hungry will be fed. The oppressed will be free. As darkness turns to dawn and sorrow turns to joy, the world will be turned upside down in the best possible way.

God, thank you for the promise of a new day. Give us strength and patience as we wait. When life gets challenging, help us to keep a song in our hearts, just as Mary did. Amen.

Submitted by: Sylvia Trimmier

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