12/14/2013

The Magnificat: A devotion for the Third Sunday of Advent

Today is a look at the Magnificat found in Luke 1:46-55. The Magnificat is called Mary's for good reason. An angel has just paid a visit to tell Mary that she has been chosen to carry God's own son.


The Magnificat is her song of awe and praise to a loving God. Her words reveal her willingness to follow God’s plan for her life and her awe of being chosen for such a great honor.

Although she came from a family of deep faith (Elizabeth’s cousin) there was nothing to indicate that she had been set apart for a special reason. Mary was of marriageable age and betrothed to a man who would be her husband. She was likely involved in the pre-wedding customs of the time.

Yet, she willingly put it all aside when God called her to carry his child. One wonders if she gave a thought to the social stigma and possible ramifications that would come about because of her decision.

Would she be ostracized?
Would Joseph still marry her?
If not, then how would she support herself and her baby?

Up until this moment, Mary had been an ordinary person, just an everyday girl-next-door type of person. She could never have envisioned the turn that her life would take. Who could blame her if she asked for time to think it over.

She didn’t blink an eye. Instead, she said yes. Life as she knew it, life as the world knew it, was changed in an instant.

Without hesitation she put her trust in God. Not only did she put her trust in Him, but she began to praise him.

The way would be difficult. People would ostracize her and some would try to kill her because of the unborn baby. No one would make room for her on the night of Jesus’ birth.

Yet from the first moment her spirit rejoiced. She thanked God for looking on the humble estate of his servant and places her trust in God. Indeed, Mary and Joseph were was so poor that they only had swaddling clothes to wrap the baby in.

She had faith that God’s mercy would flow for generations and that his strength would be shown.
Her song bears a foreshadowing of events that are to come. Events that will take place in the distant future of when her unborn baby would reach full adulthood.

Jesus was born to show his strength and his goodness, to pave the way for us to escape the wages of sin and of death.

He came not to topple a kingdom with military might but to establish a heavenly kingdom so that all who know him might come in and sit at his table.

Did she know all of this when she sang her song of praise? Probably not. Could she have guessed? We won't know until we get to Heaven and can ask her.

What we do know is despite everything, she trusted God and found the courage to praise Him.

When we are faced with uncertainty, can we find a way to praise and trust Him too?

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