Gabriel's Announcement to Mary
What captures the wonder in you? What is the song in your heart?
Today’s Scripture gives us the song in Mary’s heart when her formerly barren, elderly cousin, Elizabeth—who is also now miraculously pregnant—pronounces a blessing over Mary. We call Mary’s song the “Magnificat,” which comes from the same latin root as “magnify.”
Mary’s Magnificat continues the song the angel of the Lord started when he told her she would carry the Christ. Mary’s Magnificat does not invent the importance of the moment. She is participating with the Divine through worship. Worship is what flows from her wonder.
We see in Mary’s song that worship drawn from the wonder of the gospel is intensely personal: “He who is mighty has done great things for me” (Luke 1:46-49). It is personal, but it is not private. Mary’s song, it turns out, is not centered on what God has done for her lately. Her Magnificat sees an ancient wonder: “His mercy is for those who fear Him from generation to generation” (vv. 50-54). Any song of wonder we sing to God must be about more than His faithfulness to our particular generation, let alone to just ourselves. The coming of Christ shows us this.
In the coming of Christ, we see that God’s mercy predates us. God’s mercy to Mary traces back further than she can see. God’s provision for what you and I need the most comes through His ancient promises too.
In the coming of Christ, we see God has opposed the proud. He has taken the mighty off their thrones. Is there a song of praise in you for this—that God would oppose your pride? The cry of the redeemed soul says, “Someone oppose my pride! I will destroy my life!” This is part of Mary’s song in response to the coming of her Lord.
In the coming of Christ, we see God has exalted the humble and filled the hungry. God is meeting needs we don’t even know we have. Think about Jesus’ mission. He didn’t just come to teach us how to live right. He came to pay a debt we never could. He intercedes and intervenes for us.
In the coming of Christ, we see God has kept His promises to rescue His people. Mary’s song isn’t because God surprised her with an unexpected blessing, but because He was fulfilling a long-expected one. Mary reaches back. God promised Abraham He would redeem and restore His people, and now He was doing just that. This meant immensely more than Mary could say.
This holiday is a time to wonder at what God has done. The response to wonder we see from Mary is worship—a magnificat.
What song does the wonder of Christ’s coming draw from you? How would you praise Him for what has He done for you? How would you praise Him for what has He done that reaches far beyond you?