The Magnificat

Luke 1:46-55
46 And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47  and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55 as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
          Being blessed by the Lord sounds great right? Let me try to explain that perhaps blessings from the Lord are only a blessing when it is coupled by faith in Him, and that without faith the same blessing could be viewed as a curse. Take Mary for example, a young girl recently betrothed to Joseph, an upstanding man in the line of King David. Mary’s place in society was to be a wife to Joseph and a mother to his children. If Mary was not a faithful wife or her children were found out to not be Joseph’s, Mary would be completely ostracized and shunned from her community. And yet despite her facing the possibility of being shamed and punished for what God was doing, Mary understood that what was happening to her was a blessing from God.
          The Magnificat (which is named as such because of the Latin translation of the verb for magnify/glorify) is similar to the prayer of Hannah in 1 Samuel 2; Mary is praising God for what He was doing in her life, and she understood her privileged place to be used in His plan. Because of her great faith, Mary knew that although her community in the present time would view her pregnancy as reprehensible, she declared in her great faith that “all generations will call me blessed.” Mary’s perspective was not on the short term, it was on God’s terms.
           We all want to be blessed by God, but how would we respond if God blessed us the way that he blessed Mary? Of course, not exactly like Mary, but what if God decided to bless you in a way that would cause the people in your community to question your integrity, or simply cause people to reject you? Mary did not ignore her circumstances, but instead she embraced the fact that God was going to do something great through her life. God is going to bless us, but the question is are we going to recognize and praise Him for blessing us, or are we going to be complaining and running away from His blessings?
          Mary understood the promises of God. She knew that God was going to send the Messiah to the earth, and therefore when she found out that she was going play a role in the great plan of God, she was ready. We need to understand the numerous promises of God that are revealed to us through Scripture. We need to understand that God will bless us by allowing us to be messengers of the Gospel. That we are promised persecution and tribulation, and yet we are called to be kind and loving to our enemies. Our context may not understand the Gospel we share, but because of our faith, we understand that the Gospel of Christ is everything. The blessing is being used in God’s plan. If we have faith, we are honored to be used by Him regardless of the cost because we understand the prize. If we do not have faith, then being used in His plan becomes a curse and a burden.
          So how do we grow in this faith? We understand the depth of His love for us, and the more we experience His love for us, the more we trust Him and have faith that He will do great things.

No Comments




no categories