Mary's song has far more in common with The Red Flag than We Three Kings. But if it makes uncomfortable reading for the Church keen to attract people with a warm, fuzzy message at the one time of year when church attendance seems to actually increase, it is equally challenging for governments.
A few years ago, during the passage of one of the Conservative Government's immigration and asylum bills, an MP from the opposition benches rose to speak in the House of Commons. He began to relate the story of a young unmarried couple. The young girl was pregnant, and they were fleeing a despotic regime. As the story developed, it became clear that this was no ordinary family. He was talking about the Holy Family – a fact that was not lost of the then immigration minister, herself a Catholic, who grew redder by the second as the story unfolded. Then came the final blow. Under the government's proposals, that family, the MP proposed, would not be granted asylum in the UK.
Those who really understand Mary's take on the nativity will realise that Jesus's birth is not just good news for the oppressed, but a threat to all those who seek to restrict and control. It tells us that those who crusade for Christmas will end up losing the very festival they would defend.My additional point is simply this: where then do we hear the Magnificat in the liturgy??