Thank you for contemplating with me this month what Mary’s life was like prior to our Savior’s birth.
Two weeks ago we considered her visit from Gabriel HERE. Last week we considered the kindness of God to provide companionship through Elizabeth HERE, along with the interaction between two unborn children.
This week, Elizabeth voiced the reality that Mary was pregnant with Jesus Christ the Lord (Luke 1:41-45) and Mary responded with a song of praise, called The Magnificat.
It’s astounding, particularly considering that it comes from the mouth of a young peasant girl from Nazareth. In those days, people most certainly did not expect Mary to know more than the esteemed religious leaders of the day.
Have you ever felt like people have a small view of you? Do people talk about their degrees, titles, incomes, jobs and social status in a way that makes you feel less significant? Today’s verses underline the truth that nothing prevents any of us from having a deep understanding of God’s Story and of Him.
As you read it, recognize the deep theological understanding she has of God’s larger story over history. Notice that she saw right through the hearts of the proud. While religious leaders had no doubt passed her by with thoughts of superiority, and maybe a hint of disdain, Mary was the one who understood the Story and received God’s favor.
Enjoy Luke 1:46-56. Be encouraged that nothing can stop you from an intimate relationship with God and a deep understanding of what He is doing with History:
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! For He has looked with favor on the humble state of His servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed.
[Hasn’t that been true? All generations have known she is the mother of Jesus.]
For the Mighty One has done great things for me. Holy is His name.
[Listen to the reverence.]
His mercy extends to those who fear Him, from generation to generation.
[Mercy is not receiving what we do deserve. In the words of Joni Eareckson Tada HERE, “We approach His throne of grace to receive mercy. Mercy always comes first…To fear or respect the Lord…is to first kneel before Him, acknowledging that in His mercy He rescued us, ransomed us, and offered us adoption into His very family.” Mary knows that what is happening to her is mercy.]
He has performed mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who are proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
[She fully recognizes that God is governing what is happening and He knows the conditions of our hearts.]
He has brought down rulers from their thrones, but has exalted the humble.
[She had been humble, and He had exalted her, not the proud.]
He has filled the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty.
[She had lived the difference between poor and rich, and she knows she is rich with spiritual treasure.]
He has helped His servant Israel, remembering to be merciful, As He promised to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever.”
[She knew God’s promise to Abram/Abraham was that he would have more descendants than could be counted, and she knew that was made possible through the arrival of her son (Genesis 12:1-3; 15:5;17:2-7).]
Immediately after the first trimester, Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home (Luke 1:56). This special young woman went back home with the pregnancy beginning to show, and then walked the story out.
Picture Explanation: I went back through my December blogs and pulled some pictures of Christmas decorations. Each year the nativity scene is part of the decor. I hope your nativity scenes have additional meaning this year with increased appreciation for how God tells His grand Story through people the world doesn’t really know about. Most people on the globe aren’t famous or extremely wealthy. Most people aren’t leaders with grand titles in the church or society. But we who are “unseen” comprise an army that outnumbers the stars in the sky made up of people like you and me…and Mary…through which God chooses to unfold His grandest work, so He gets the glory, not us.
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