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3rd December 2021

Last weekend I joined an Advent Retreat online. Revd Richard Carter, from St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square, reflected on Mary’s song: “My soul magnifies the Lord”. Mary has learnt from the angel Gabriel that she is going to have a baby, to be called Jesus, and rushes off to see her cousin Elizabeth. Then follows Mary’s song, the Magnificat.

“Magnifies” isn’t exactly a word I use often. I confess that until now, I haven’t particularly stopped to think much about what “magnifying the Lord” is all about! The pandemic has added to life’s uncertainties. Carter noted “Familiar structures of our lives no longer seem so familiar. We’re unsure of the new future and what difficulties or surprises await us, but we have been given a lesson in living like two thirds of the world always live. Living by faith, learning to trust, and perhaps learning to magnify the Lord.”

This living by faith and trusting in the face of uncertainty might be encountered in the experience of parenting the new born child; by the elderly couple lovingly supporting each other through ill health; by parents letting go as their child starts university.

Carter concluded: “When we magnify, we see the miraculous detail that previously we overlooked. We expand. We enlarge. We contemplate. We see the height, the breadth, the depth, the wonder of God. I wonder how you will magnify God this Advent. I wonder how you will learn to trust again.”

I found that an interesting and a helpful challenge. I hope it might be for you too.

Ruth Allen

(…with apologies to Revd Carter for any inadvertent transcription errors)