“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed. For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me. He shows mercy from generation to generation to all who fear him. His mighty arm has done tremendous things…” – Luke 1:46-51. 

There were many things that Mary could not plan for or even imagined. The first was the visit from Gabriel announcing that she would give birth to the Son of God. She could not have imagined the journey to Bethlehem and the birth in a manger. She probably never envisioned shepherds and wise men coming to see the newborn king. She probably didn’t expect to have to flee to Egypt. And she probably did not imagine the cross either. Yet, Mary trusted God’s plan.

As a result of this news from the meeting with Gabriel and Elizabeth, Mary writes a song, which Luke records. It’s commonly called the “Magnificat.” I wonder if we would sing the same tune given those circumstances. Or would we have questioned why things had to happen this way? After all, why should Joseph and I have to make that arduous journey to Bethlehem? And deliver my child, the Son of God – in a manger? Really. Instead of those questions, Mary sings, “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior” Mary’s entire attitude was one of praise and trust, in effect she was saying, “I do not understand all the whys, and it is not exactly enjoyable, and certainly if I had my druthers, I would have done it differently: But I will trust that God knows what He’s doing and I will glorify Him.” 

There’s a huge difference between resigned acceptance and doing it joyfully. Mary was willing to take God at His word and believe in His promises. She was willing to acknowledge that God has a purpose and that purpose is much bigger than we can usually imagine. Mary goes on to sing, “For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me.” We get so busy at Christmas and in just about everything else in our lives. We make things a whole lot more hectic and complicated than they need to be; we’re all caught up in our planning, working and worrying. There’s a simplicity about Mary’s song, about her attitude of total trust and reliance on the Lord that jumps out at you.  

We too can look beyond the packaging, the wrapping, and the parties and focus on the Holy, Almighty and Loving God who cares incredibly, deeply about each of us. Remember Mary and put first things first and say, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” (Luke 1:38)

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are your thoughts on Mary’s song?  
  2. Did you have any takeaways from Mary’s song that you apply in your life?