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). Mary’s words overflow with praise to God for his great mercy. 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 share. She has travelled physically many miles 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.
Mary arrives at faith in God. The God that is mighty, holy, and 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.
Mary also arrives at complete dependence on God – my soul rejoices in God my savior. Mary is not the savior of the world and she knows it. God is. 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? No, 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. The Christ child is God’s salvation for her, for Israel, and for the whole world. Mary doesn’t just trust in a God who helps those who help themselves. She trusts in a God who alone can save those who could never help themselves (all of us).
Mary arrives at total commitment to Christ. Her reception of God’s grace results in an active commitment to serve and praise the Lord. She will magnify the Lord. She will declare his salvation and warn of his judgment. She will refuse the chase vain glory. She’ll refuse to use God’s grace for her own advantage. She knows that God scatters the proud and brings down the mighty. She knows that the rich remain empty. That to trust in anything other than God to satisfy her 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.
“To live is Christ” means that we, like Mary, have Christ in us. And we, like Mary, are on a journey of faith, dependence, and commitment. May our songs this Christmas magnify the Lord, declaring the salvation of God in Christ his son. Amen.
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?
Click Here to this playlist on Spotify!
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