Scripture Reading: Luke 1:26-56
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has looked on the humble estate of His servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed: for He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name.” (Luke 1:47-49)
The popular title for Mary’s Song, the Magnificat, is derived from the first word of the hymn in the Latin version. This hymn of praise is Mary’s response to the message the angel Gabriel brought her that she would bear the Son of God. Many extols God for what He has done for her — “”My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has looked on the humble estate of His servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed.” (vs. 46-48). Mary’s song expresses a deep sense of personal worship. She is overwhelmed with God’s goodness to her and she is filled with both joy and humility.
Mary was indeed the most blessed of all women as her cousin Elizabeth had stated (v. 42). She was blessed because she had found favor with the Lord (v. 30). Mary was the recipient of God’s divine grace. She contemplates God’s power and mercy which are revealed from one generation to another — “For He who is mighty had done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is for those who fear Him from generation to generation” (vs. 49,50).
Mary continues to exalt God as she contrasts His mercy with His severity — “He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; He has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; He has filled the hungry with good things and the rich He has sent empty away” (vs. 51-53). Here is a beautiful picture of the gospel. The self-righteous will be sent away; but those with humble spirits will be blessed.
Mary’s song ends by showing how God’s mercy is the fulfillment of His covenant promises — “He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his offspring forever” (vs. 54,55). The birth of Christ was the ultimate fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham.
As we approach Christmas Day, let us join Mary in worship — “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
Lord God, thank You for this beautiful picture of Your divine grace. You chose a young woman and made her the object of Your divine grace. You blessed her beyond all measure. Mary knew her unworthiness and You honored her for her deep humility. As I consider Your work in my life, let me remember my unworthiness. And yet, let me also remember the great blessings You have poured out on me. You have chosen me to be Yours and You redeemed me with the blood of Your Son. My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
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