During Advent I will be posting a number of reflections as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. This the first and will be followed by shorter reflections posted on each and every Sunday in Advent. Starting tomorrow.
Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord.”
One of my hobbies is bird watching and I have spent many a pleasant hour in a hide watching the antics of birds on lakes, in woodland or on the sea shore. Binoculars are a must because they magnify what we look at. When we see objects enlarged a whole new world opens up. What was a drab little ‘brown job’ to our natural eyes is revealed as a creature of beauty through binoculars. It’s the same when we look down a microscope. Sometimes its scary when a mite looks like an arachnid spider!
Mary’s soul acted like a lens and magnified the Lord. It revealed a whole new world for her. She saw God in a whole new way. Very often we view God through the wrong end of the binoculars. We make God smaller. It is easier to ignore him that way.
But Mary marveled at what was revealed to her and she declared that God held the place of greatest prominence and importance in her life.
1. Look at who He is.
In obedience she recognizes Gods supreme authority
In v.47 her spirit rejoices in GOD MY SAVIOUR recognizing God’s supreme divinity.
In v49 for the MIGHTY ONE has done great things for me.
She recognizes God’s supreme power. Making the impossible possible. Through her the birth of Jesus will bring about the salvation of mankind.
HOLY is his name. Mary recognizes God’s supreme purity & perfection.
2. Look at what He does.
In v50 Mary sees through the lens of her soul that His MERCY extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.
No matter how far we have strayed from God he will show us his love, compassion and mercy. And this is for all time. How often do we feel unworthy? Guilty? At such times we must recall that because God came down to live with us and to experience all that life can throw at us, and more, he understands and extends his arm of love in forgiveness and compassion. No matter what state you or I are in, if we fear God we are loved by Him.
v51 Mary acknowledges that He has performed MIGHTY DEEDS with his arm…
Literally, “He has showed strength with his arm.”
In an act of irresistible power in creation God spoke and the elements yielded and obeyed Him. When God spoke Mary became pregnant with Jesus in a seemingly medically impossible way.
He is still showing His mighty deeds; saving, transforming, healing, grace for suffering, answering prayers, protecting. We should all spend time thanking God for the ‘miracles’ we have seen or experienced in our own life. And if we need a miracle right now pray for one for He makes the ‘impossible possible’.
v 51b Mary acknowledges His Justice: He has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.
She now sees that the baby Jesus that she is to give birth to will bring about moral, social and economic revolutions. I believe the only way to prevent wars, deal with climate change, global economic downturns and social injustice is to apply Christian principles to bring about a global moral, social and economic revolution. Such a revolution is urgently needed in today’s world. What do you think?
Ultimately Mary recognizes that God will make everything right.
Mary remembers he is FAITHFUL promise-keeper: 54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful 55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers.
In other words the coming of Jesus is the fulfillment of all that was promised in the Old Testament.
Mary’s praise magnified God, giving Him the most prominent place in her life because of who He is and what He does.
How often do we look at God through the wrong end of binoculars; making Him seem small and far away. Let us bring God closer to us this Christmas by magnifying him with the lens of your soul. Let us make him bigger in our lives. Let us give Him the place of highest prominence in our lives. When we do so a whole new world opens up before us causing us to rejoice in all circumstances and enjoy His pleasure, because of the glorious miracle of the birth, life and death of Jesus.
Lord Jesus, this Christmas as we sing the familiar carols, hear the familiar readings and ponder on familiar mysteries, give us the grace to magnify you and give us the gift of pure worship – that ability which Mary had of attributing to you your true worth, your full value, your inestimable greatness.
Teach us to be reverent; yet teach us how to express the love that burns within our hearts as we think of your goodness to us – that you have come to be our light in darkness, our hope in despair, our strength in weakness, our shelter in the storm – yes, and our eternal saviour.