And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
Luke 1:46-47 ESV
When God does His most significant work, He usually chooses the most insignificant people.
Paul reminds the Christ-followers of Corinth of God’s “selection” process, “For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:26-29 ESV)
In God’s plan to present His greatest Gift to mankind, He chooses two unassuming and obscure women to play powerful roles.
Elizabeth was a mature and childless women who quietly, faithfully and lovingly served. Her husband was a holy man. Both had a heritage of serving God and others. Yet, apart from their small circle of friends and family, they were not “known”.
Mary was a young virgin. Known for her kindness and purity, she was engaged to a man who would earn his living as a carpenter. They were not able to seek social amenities like prestige, power or position. Money was tough to come by. Yet, both Mary and her fiance honored God.
As God begins to unveil the “mystery of the ages”, He chooses an older, barren woman and a young, virginal girl. Both insignificant. Both “salt of the earth”. Both with a heart of worship and humility. God uses the “things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are”.
He Is Miraculous. We are often skeptical of the supernatural moving of God. Experiencing the healing of a loved one when all medical options have been exhausted, or watching a life that has been torn down by addiction begin to rebuild, or seeing hearts that have been ripped open with the loss of a loved one start to heal . . . these are all the miraculous work of God. In our eternal hope we find our everyday healing. God establishes His brand with the unbelievable, the unexplainable and the unexpected. The angel Gabriel tells Mary, “For nothing will be impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37 ESV)
He Is Mighty. Mary’s Song of Praise reminds us, “for He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. (Luke 1:49 ESV) The power of God knows no boundary . . . and our praise for God knows no end. Paul reminds us, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” (Eph 6:10 ESV) We avail ourselves of God’s strength when we admit our own weakness. In his writings to the followers of Christ in Corinth, Paul recalls, “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Cor 12:9 ESV) What God gives is not too little or not too much . . . it is enough and sufficient. I am weak and He is strong. I am unknown and He is known. I am insignificant and He is significant.
He Is Merciful. Mary continues in her praise, “And His mercy is for those who fear Him from generation to generation.” (Luke 1:50 ESV) In The Message, Eugene Peterson illustrates Paul’s encouragement regarding God’s mercy, “It’s a wonder God didn’t lose His temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, He embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us!” (Eph 2:4-5 MSG). God’s mercy motivated by His love moves Him to embrace us and to give us new life.
Take a moment to magnify The Lord and allow your spirit to rejoice in His miracles, in His might, and in His mercy.
‘Tis the season . . .