The story of Mary’s Magnificat
Published 7:36 am Monday, December 28, 2015
I trust that you have completed all of your Christmas shopping by now. My prayer is that you will take time to consider the first Christmas when our Savior was born.
He truly is the reason for the season. As we think about that first Christmas, we should not overlook Mary’s song of praise found in Luke 1:46-56. It is often referred to as Mary’s Magnificat. Magnificat is a Latin word that means “magnifies.”
It is used as a title here because it is the first word in the Latin translation of Mary’s song. It is a song of praise to the Lord. It is a song intended to magnify the Lord.
Protestants like me sometimes get a little nervous when someone starts talking about Mary. We don’t want anyone to think that we idolize or worship her.
But Mary is an example for us in many ways. And if we ignore Mary, we miss out on the things that she has to teach us.
Her song in Luke 1 is one of four nativity hymns recorded in Luke’s Gospel. It gives us a glimpse of Mary’s thoughts concerning the Christ Child in her womb. It should fill our hearts with worship to Mary’s God, our God.
Some have asked how Mary — a young teenager — could write such a spectacular song. The song is so theologically rich. It demonstrates such an impressive grasp of the person and work of God. The answer must be that Mary knew the Old Testament Scriptures.
The song is not that unlike many of the songs we see throughout the Old Testament. It looks like something you might find in the Psalms, but it is also similar to Hannah’s prayer in 1 Samuel 2.
“My heart exults in the Lord; my strength is exalted in the Lord … The Lord makes poor and makes rich; he brings low and he exalts. He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor.”
While the similarity with Hannah’s prayer is striking, there are hints of other Scripture passages throughout the song.
Mary knew that the baby in her womb was the promised Messiah. She knew that He was the one who would save His people from their sin. She knew what Jesus would say years later, that all the Scriptures testify concerning Him.
As you reflect upon that first Christmas, I hope you will remember that this is the message of Christmas.
We were far from God. We were lost and dying in our sin. But God, He took on flesh and dwelt among us. He lived the perfect life we could not live.
Then He died in our place to pay for our sin so we can be reconciled to God.
As you reflect upon the Christ child, don’t leave Him in the manger.
He died to pay for your sin and mine, and was raised from the grave three days later.
Right now He is seated at the right hand of God, and will one day return to establish His kingdom, where all those who are in Christ will reside with Him forever.
This is the hope of Christmas.
Adam Blosser is the pastor of Drakes Branch Baptist Church. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.