You're a somebody. You have the time to read this. You have the interest to read this. Your mortgage (or rent) and utilities are getting paid. There is food on the table. There is a car in the driveway. There is functioning A/C and heat. You don't worry if there is enough money when you go shopping. You have an address, friends, and freedom to engage in pastimes and enjoy life. You're reasonably secure, stable, and life is manageable. You're a somebody.
Nobodies lack many of these things.
Isaiah's prophecies often involve breathtaking visions of new life for those who are down and out. Isaiah 35 begins with the transformation of the desert landscape at the coming of the Lord. Then, the weak and struggling nobodies are given new strength and hope as their transformation merges with the transformed landscape - are they metaphors? It ends with a highway for those being blessed by God, a road without predators bringing them into Zion singing with joy.
It is not a prophecy for everyone, just the nobodies. The somebodies are not the focus. The ones who had left behind or left out the weak and struggling are not welcome on the highway - "wicked fools." The nobodies bear the promise of God, too, but their lives are suffocated by scarcity and oppression. The Lord comes to bring them liberation and new life. The somebodies don't have that struggle; this isn't for us or about us.
Luke's Song of Mary - the Magnificat from the first word of the song in Latin - is oriented the same way. Borrowing its format heavily from Hannah's song in 1 Samuel 2, the text reveals that Mary knows who she is - "the humble state of his servant" - a nobody.
The expressions in the song are not from the Mary that we find pictured so ubiquitously. This is not some young, demure, halo-rimmed, northern European woman who simply gazes into the face of a remarkably plump and happy baby with its own halo. These words crash like a tidal wave, like a prophet - Amos would be pleased! The words speak of the wealthy somebodies losing their comfort and security and the powerful being cast down from their places of authority and privilege. The prophecy is radical and revolutionary, and Mary, the nobody, sees what God is doing in her.
See what you discover by watching the sermon video below.