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The AMBS community sang in full voice this season, with feet pounding the floor and a tambourine accenting each beat: “Sing we a song of high revolt; make great the Lord, God’s name exult! Sing we the words of Mary’s song of God at war with human wrong” (Sing the Story, 13).

The tune, DEO GRACIAS, was written to celebrate the victory of Henry V at Agincourt in October of 1415, Rachel Miller Jacobs, assistant professor of congregational formation, told us. By appropriating this military tune for the words of Mary’s Magnificat, the songwriters signal the defiant hope of a poor woman living under occupation and the upside-down purposes of God’s reign, “casting down the mighty from their thrones and lifting up the lowly.”
Rarely has the storm-tested canopy of sacred Christmas songs from across the centuries and around the globe so fortified our spirits as in this dark season. Their beauty and power stand in stark contrast to the threadbare jingly tunes that fill our public soundscapes.
The AMBS community greets you in the strong and saving name of Jesus Christ, and invites you to rejoice and sing songs of “high revolt” with us, for “To us a Child of hope is born … His name shall be the Prince of peace, forever more adored … His pow’r increasing, still shall spread, his reign no end shall know.” Jesus, our King, is born, in excelsis gloria!

—Sara Wenger Shenk, president
Copyright © 2016 Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, All rights reserved.

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