Mary’s song has been known throughout the ages as the Magnificat, taken from the first words of her hymn of praise. Much has been made of those who would make too much or too little of Mary and her role in the birth of the Son of God. All the titles and honorifics bestowed upon Mary do her a disservice in a way, for what could be better than the words of Elizabeth to Mary: “Blessed—blessed are you among women…”
Mary was blessed—and that says it all! She was blessed with a child, but not any child. This child would be God incarnate—God become flesh to dwell among His people. Mary was blessed to be the mother of our Lord. And her response is, “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” Her response is to praise and glorify God for blessing her with the presence of Jesus in her life. And should our response be any different?
As our lives (and our world!) have been preoccupied with thoughts and preparations for the Christmas holiday, we often miss the opportunity to magnify the Lord—for our spirits to rejoice in God our Savior. And yet, have we not also been blessed as Mary was blessed? Haven’t we been given the very presence of Jesus in our lives—not only at Christmas-time, but day by day—as He has promised to be us always, even to the close of the age?
God has regarded our “lowly estate,” giving us His Son! God has seen us when we are down-hearted, struggling, lonely, upset, troubled by guilt, persecuted. How does God react to our lowly estate? He sends His Son to be with us—always. Blessed are we among women and men, to have such a God who dwells with us in grace and truth—as the Word made flesh, as Jesus. Now, let us magnify the Lord and rejoice in God our Savior!
Lord our God, we praise and glorify you for the gift of your Son, who blesses us with His presence every day. Amen.
Prepared by David Wendel, North American Lutheran Church