“Canticle of the Turning”
Based on Mary’s song, the Magnificat
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!
From the halls of power to the fortress tower,
not a stone will be left on stone.
Let the king beware for your justice tears
ev’ry tyrant from his throne.
The hungry poor shall weep no more,
for the food they can never earn;
There are tables spread, ev’ry mouth be fed,
for the world is about to turn.
“For nothing will be impossible with God.” – Luke 1:37
God’s messenger Gabriel spoke these words to Mary, and set the story of salvation into motion. In response to this powerful promise, Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, also preparing to have a baby, and she sang a song. We know her Advent song as the Magnificat, and it affirms the power of God to turn rules and expectations upside down, to usher in a new world, governed by wholeness and mercy and love.
Not long after Gabriel’s words and Mary’s song, a tiny baby came into a world of darkness, and brought the light. He encouraged us to love and care for one another, as he loved and cared for us. He healed and taught, and he sacrificed his life that others might live. And the world was about to turn!
Since the year 2000, global efforts to fight malaria have slashed the death rate from malaria in Africa in half. Half as many deaths means many, many more healthy children, growing up to be healthy adults. In Africa, the world is about to turn.
In Uganda, volunteers trained through the Lutheran malaria program are working with local clinics to test, treat and educate about malaria in communities. Atim Christie, the nurse in charge of one of these clinics, says, “Before the program started, 75% of the cases at our clinic were due to malaria. We were overloaded.” A year later, she reports, “The Lutheran program has boosted the morale of our staff. Now malaria cases represent only 50% of the cases we see here at the clinic. There is room for other patients now.” In Uganda, the world is about to turn.
Since the beginning of the ELCA Malaria Campaign, more than two million people have been empowered to change their lives for the better, and to generate health and hope for their families. With help from your generosity, God is turning the world around!
Blessings and gratitude to you this Advent season, from the ELCA Malaria Campaign and from Lutheran sisters and brothers around the world.
Jessica Nipp Hacker and Allison Beebe
(Your ELCA Malaria Campaign team)