What a joyous season it is! Today, I was reminded of another fabulous reason for and focus to the celebration. I hear it in Mary’s song. Do you?
Luke chapter one has Mary’s song of praise, commonly called The Magnificat because she magnifies the LORD. It has some beautiful praise in it AND a reason to celebrate Christmas.
Did you just say, “Duh”? Well… let’s see if you know what I actually mean, shall we?
Here is Mary’s Song:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”
Do you see the depth of her declarations? There is so much wonderful news here to celebrate. Let’s look at her song.
Verse one of Mary’s song (John 1:46-49) declares the truth of God’s choosing the humble to fulfill his purposes and the gratefulness that the Savior is coming. Mary says, “my spirit rejoices in God my Savior”. She sings of her and our need for the Savior. Mary, a humble sinner, declares her need and her rejoicing in salvation coming. She recognizes that she will be called blessed for generations because of what God does to her, not because of herself. What wisdom there! May every servant of the LORD (Luke 1:38) sing the same praise!
God does choose the humble to bring forth his plans and saves them from sin. How glorious is that and how unlike the world. It’s worth singing about!
Verse two of her song (John 1:50- 53) is a recognition of God’s covenant being fulfilled and the depth of meaning this has for “those who fear him from generation to generation”. She glorifies the mercy of the LORD in sending the prophesied Messiah to his people. The word mercy (in the NASB) is eleos, meaning: kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them.
God desired to help the lost and the broken, first in Israel and then to the Gentiles. He calls out people. Those “who fear him” receive his amazing mercy! That is definitely worth singing about!
Verse three is where I parked today and thanked the LORD for the reminder for this season. Mary declares for all the world the beautiful hope that we have further strengthened in Christ being born a baby: God always keeps his promises!
Mary was of the remnant faithful Jews. It had been 400 years since God spoke. His last words through Malachi are of the messenger that will usher in the Messiah. The people have been waiting.
Mary has been chosen to carry the Messiah and then as further confirmation (as if Gabriel wasn’t enough), she hears from Elizabeth the confirmation of the LORD within her (before Mary even tells Elizabeth) and encouragement in Mary’s believing God’s Word…. AND Elizabeth carries the messenger in her womb.
Not only has God been silent for 400 years, but the Jews are under harsh rule by the Romans. Their enthusiasm for the Messiah wanes. Not Mary’s. Not Zechariah’s. Not Elizabeth’s.
This last verse reminds everyone that God fulfills his promises and that means hope!
Mary’s Song is beautiful in so many ways, but today I’m reminded that Christmas is spectacular for a reason I forget to share with my kiddos.
God’s promises come to pass! No matter the silence. No matter the circumstance. No matter what.
That should prompt me to share about the promises yet unfilled and our hope in knowing God will bring them also to pass!
May we celebrate everything this season means, including the hope of more promises fulfilled!
Join Mary (and now me) in singing about God’s awesomeness in choosing humble sinners, in covenants fulfilled, and in promises always kept!
May Mary’s Song ring true in your heart today!
*thanks to Gary, the Sunday School teacher today, that prompted this study and blessed me!