46 And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55 as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
This song of Mary is commonly called the Magnificat (“My soul magnifies” in Latin). These are the words of Mary overflowing with praise to God for his great mercy toward those who fear him. It is a warning to the proud and grace for the humble. It claims the promises of God and declares the power of God. This teenage mother to be is spontaneously singing her praise to a God who has not forgotten his covenant people. After 400 years Mary breaks the silence of God and prophesies about the life that is growing within her. The life that will bring about the long awaited salvation of God.
Mary’s is a spiritual journey that each of us in Christ must also take. She has travelled literally to see her cousin Elizabeth, and she has travelled spiritually from asking “how can this be” of the angel, to for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. Hers is the destination that each of us is also travelling toward. The destination of faith in God. The destination of complete dependence on God. And the destination of total commitment to Christ.
The destination of faith in God.
Mary’s God is mighty. He is holy. He is merciful. Because God is mighty he can do something about our sinful condition. Because God is holy he must do something about our sinful condition. And because God is merciful he wants to do something about our sinful condition. And that is a God worth trusting. A God whose love and perfection collide with the strength to resurrect our very souls, transforming us from sons of Adam to sons of God.
The destination of complete dependence on God.
Mary knew that she too, like all humanity, needed a savior – my soul rejoices in God my savior. And she also knows that God’s salvation is for those that allow him to take over their lives. Jesus is not an add-on to our already mostly good lives. Jesus is an invading force that destroys the old and resurrects the new. The person in Christ knows that God scatters the proud and brings down the mighty. The Christian understands that the rich remains empty. That to trust in anything other than Jesus to satisfy is to never, ever be satisfied. Chase happiness and you’ll never be happy enough. Chase wealth and you’ll never be rich enough. Chase power and you’ll never be powerful enough. But let God chase your heart, and you’ll always have everything your heart truly longs for.
The destination of total commitment to Christ.
Mary is “highly favored” according to the angel, and she is “blessed among women” according to Elizabeth. But did Mary earn these titles? Did she prove herself worthy of such blessing? Mary is a nobody. She’s a statistic. She’s an unwed teen mom from “Nowhere,” Palestine. And yet she knows that she is the recipient of God’s amazing grace. And it is this great grace that drives her commitment to God and to the Christ-child within her. Her commitment is one of acceptance and one of praise. Just like us, she’s not the savior of the world, but she carries the savior of the world. And so her soul is committed to magnifying the Lord and declaring his just and merciful salvation to all who would hear her sing!
“To live is Christ” means that we, like Mary, have Christ in us. Christ is the humble one exalted by God to an eternal throne. Christ is the hungry one who desired only the will of God the Father. Christ is the faithful, dependent, and committed one that we, like Mary, allow to transform our souls into singing the songs of God’s magnificent salvation.
What is your soul magnifying today?
You in Christ
How does knowing that you carry Christ to the world change how you will live today?
Christ in you
What songs will the Christ in you be singing today?
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