Mary’s first response to the news of the angel was a simple yes. But after visiting her older cousin Elizabeth and sharing her news (perhaps the first person she told besides Joseph) and seeing in this godly mentor confirmation of her calling, Mary penned a song, a beautiful hymn that has been sung by God’s people for two thousand years.
The Magnificat reads like more than a simple sentimental Christmas poem. It reads like the song of revolution:
“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.
And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
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 away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
Mary didn’t know everything. Mary didn’t understand all the angel told her. Mary was, like every other sinner, prone to doubt and worry and fear. But Mary did cling to what she knew. The child inside her womb was no ordinary child.
He would bring “down the mighty from their thrones” and scatter “the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.” This child would save His people, including Mary, from their sins. This child would reverse sin’s curse. This child would rule the nations.
Mary could look back through the pages of God’s redemptive history, all the way back to God’s promise to Eve and His covenant with Abraham, and see herself in that story. Mary could see the upside-down nature of God’s kingdom, that it doesn’t wind its way first through princes and palaces, but among those who are humble enough to receive Jesus.
You may be reading this from your own insignificant place, from the middle of nowhere, from places it seems God has abandoned. But God knows your name. You may be rejected, unethical, or unspectacular but if you are willing to say yes to God, you can know and be reborn by the King of kings.
Mary has a rags-to-riches story, not because Jesus made her famous but because she, like everyone who receives Jesus, was brought from death to life, from poverty of soul to the riches of heaven. This is not only Mary’s journey, but the journey of everyone who encounters Jesus by faith.
by Daniel Darling
Learn Something New This Christmas We hate to admit it, but after years, sometimes even decades, of reading the same Luke 2 story of Christmas,...
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