As we reflect on the Christmas story we miss the setting & the significance of Mary’s ‘Song’ about the Lord found in Luke 1:46-55. Mary’s words give us tools for dealing with the worry, anxiety & terrifying fears in the midst of the messes of life.
Mary’s Song is often called the Magnificat. To magnify is to hold in greater esteem or respect; to enlarge; to color or elaborate. Glorify means to bestow honour or praise; to light up brilliantly; to cause to be seen better then before.
My soul glorifies the Lord & my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
Our soul :
- Has emotion
- Interprets events
- Responds with choices good or bad.
Our spirit is :
- The core of our being
- Gives and sustains life
- The place where God’s Spirit dwells
- The place where He speaks to us
- The place of revelation of who He truly is
- The place where He brings comfort & gives direction in the day to day of life
Mary was an uneducated teenager probably thirteen or fourteen at most. We know nothing about her parents or her upbringing. Tradition says her mother was named Anne. We have no idea why the angel said she was highly favored by God & that He was with her.
Why did God choose Mary to bear Jesus?
Mary was engaged & pregnant but not by her fiancée, Joseph. She was telling a wild story about an angel & a baby who was conceived by the Holy Spirit & would be Saviour of the World. At the time of the Song, she traveled, probably alone & on foot through the dangerous hills of Judea to visit Elizabeth, the one person who would really believe her & offer protection for the baby.
Three months later she made the return journey home. She faced an uncertain future.
How did she find the inner strength & peace to face the birth of this child, the potential rejection by Joseph and the later exile to Egypt to escape the murdering armies of King Herod?
Her soul magnified (glorified) the Lord and her spirit rejoiced in God her Saviour.
Out of that deep relationship with God she was able to worship. What is worship ?
Mary defines worship very simply.
I am the Lord’s servant. Let it be to me as you have said.
Mary made an active choice to reflect on (think about) and express out loud who God is and what He had done for her people (Israel) & for her personally.
Out of those acts of praise and thanksgiving she experienced a peace & a joy that overcame rejection, worry. anxiety & fear.
Even on the day she saw her Son who was also her Saviour die on a Cross she had peace.
How do we find peace in troubling times? How do we overcome fear, worry & the anxious choices that result?
Do not be anxious about anything
But in everything by prayer & petition with thanksgiving
Present your requests to God.
And the peace of God which transcends understanding
Will guard your mind and your spirit in Christ Jesus
We need to be writing our own Magnificat.
- We intensify our image of God
- We enlarge our understanding of Him
- We light Him up brilliantly
In doing so
- The worries seem smaller
- There will be a deeper level of peace.
- There will be joy in the midst of our circumstances
Where Joy And Sorrow Meet
- I give you my thoughts, my emotions and my choices
- I choose to praise you for who You are
- I choose to thank you for all you have done for me
- May the Light of your Glory overcome the darkness of fear and worry in my life
- I choose to worship You.