“And Mary said, ‘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: 46-49
A popular song in the Christmas season is the modern carol, “Mary, Did You Know?” The beautiful song captures the wonder and imagination of Christmas as it draws us into Mary’s perspective of Jesus’ birth. The basic question driving the song is… Did Mary realize the life-changing greatness of the baby she gave birth to? While I appreciate the sentiment and wonder of this song, I think Scripture gives us some indication that Mary DID know to some extent the magnitude of child that she delivered.
When the angel Gabriel appeared to the virgin Mary to announce that she would give birth to Jesus, I can’t imagine what Mary’s thoughts must have been. How do you receive the news that God is going to do something that is humanly impossible, and you are going to the carrier of God’s Son? I can’t imagine what it must have been like, but we are told that her response was, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). Mary understood what God was going to do, and she offered herself as a servant of the Lord.
We are given a glimpse into Mary’s understanding of this whole event as she breaks out into a song, which has come to be known as the Magnificat. She understood that the coming of Jesus was a reason to celebrate. She understood that there was a reason to rejoice because her God is her Savior. She understood that God looked upon her, sees her humble estate, and that he was going to great things… things that would change the course of history. Mary understood that her bearing this child would be an event that every generation would look back upon and call her blessed… Because through her would come the child who would be a blessing to all generations.
The picture we are given as we overhear Mary’s song of worship is a woman who understood that Jesus is the one we have waited for. He is the one who would change everything. He is the one who looks upon our humble estate and comes to us at Christmas. Mary knew more than we probably imagine. Did she know how this child would be her Savior? Probably not. Did she know that this child would do something that would cause us to still be celebrating over two thousand years later? I think she did.
So as Christmas eve is only a week away, we join Mary in the anticipation and celebration of the coming of the one who would change the course of human history. May we respond as she did, by worshiping and rejoicing in God our Savior. I pray that your Christmas preparations would be filled with a sense of wonder and awe as we remember the child of Mary who is the Son of God.
For God has looked upon our humble estate.
And that’s a reason to celebrate.
The Frey Life
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"May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word." Psalm 119:74