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 your name be blest. Could the world be about to turn? My heart shall sing of the day you bring. Let the fires of you justice burn. Wipe away all the tears, for the dawn draw near, and the world is about to turn. (Canticle of the Turning, by Rory Cooney)
This hymn echoes Mary’s song (Luke 1:46-55) which in turn borrows its poetry from the words of Hannah (I Samuel 2: 1-10). Throughout biblical history, we meet a God who chooses to wield power for the sake of the powerless. This God rearranges our very idea of power, turning our structures and systems upside down and inside out. On Dec 1, the Star Tribune reported: “Congress gave the final go-ahead Tuesday to a landmark $1.2 billion settlement compensating black farmers for decades of discrimination…” Advent is a time to get honest about all that needs to “turn” in our world. Advent is a season to acknowledge the pain of justice delayed and denied, and embrace the upheaval of re-imagining our relationship with power.