Loving Lord, I’m so grateful that each day You treat me with Your mercy, patience and unfailing love.
Read LUKE 1:46-56
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Christmas is all about the great, joyful, loving God who broke into history, so that his love and joy could be in us and made known through us” (Tony Campolo).
Recalling Psalm 95:1, the Spirit-filled Mary explodes into song. Her hymn is rightly enshrined in Christian history as “The Magnificat,” named from the first word in the Latin version, Magnificat anima mea Dominum. Preceding the birth of Jesus, in a sense her song is the first hymn of the New Testament (cf. Miriam’s song, Exod. 15). She sings of God’s mercy and salvation. The hymn anticipates how Jesus will turn the world upside down, bringing down the proud and exalting the humble (Prov. 3:34; Jas. 4:6; 1 Pet 5:5), filling the hungry while sending the rich away empty (Luke 6:20-26). Through Mary’s child, God’s covenant with Abraham will be fulfilled in compassionate healing, ultimate sacrifice and resurrection power. It is entirely appropriate that “wherever the Gospel is preached throughout the world” (Mark 14:9), her song is sung in memory of her and in praise of “God my Savior” (47).
When we get it, what can we do other than break out in praise like Mary? This baby will grow to manhood and then burst onto the scene to establish a new world in which divided humanity will come together as one. By mercy and grace through people like Mary, Elizabeth, you and me, the world will be gradually transformed. We are his mouthpieces, his hands and feet, spreading this story in attitude, deed and word. By the Spirit we are compelled to join Mary and magnify his holy name!
It is easy to forget that, at the most basic level, we are created to glorify God. As the Westminster Shorter Catechism says, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” Further, as God in us fills the hungry spiritually and materially, our light shines and our good deeds glorify God in heaven (Matt. 5:16). What is there left to do as Christmas 2015 approaches but to join Mary and magnify God?
Take time to find space and sing to the Lord. Don’t be shy. This is what you were created for. Join Mary, David, Paul and John, and magnify his name.
Lord, as I read this passage, and the thoughts shared, I feel I am “walking on a smoldering volcano of praise.” Bless the Lord, O my soul!
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