December 18, 2014
And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”
56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.
This spontaneous outburst of praise by Mary has been given several names: “Mary’s Song”, “Canticle of Mary”, or “The Magnificat” (from a Latin term meaning Magnify). Regardless of the title, these words of worship have been sung, spoken, and repeated for two thousand years. Considering that they were first uttered by a (most likely) illiterate peasant girl at the approximate age of 15, their eloquence and beauty is even more remarkable. But lean in close and notice the substance of this praise. Beyond God’s specific outpouring of blessing in Mary’s life, her worship is primarily focused on God’s great reversals. The proud and self-sufficient are lowered and humbled. Poor and hungry are raised up and filled. In God’s economy, powerlessness translates into divine strength; being kept down results in being raised up. How is this possible?
Because this is the way of God. His power is most displayed when we have none of our own to offer. It seems that utter dependence, even desperation, is God’s preferred posture for us. And who better to understand that than a poor, unprivileged girl with no social standing and no prospects? Don’t you agree? Then why is it we work so hard to prove ourselves competent and need-free? It would seem we have much to learn from this young girl- and those like her- whose very lack enables them to experience God’s fullness in remarkable ways.
When have you experienced the greatest dependence on God? How did He meet you there?
Talk about how God’s strength is most visible when we are at our weakest.