"The Magnificat:" Mary’s Hymn of Praise
And Mary said: "My soul exalts the Lord,
47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
48 "For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave;
For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.
49 "For the Mighty One has done great things for me;
And holy is His name.
50 "AND HIS MERCY IS UPON GENERATION AFTER GENERATION
TOWARD THOSE WHO FEAR HIM.
51 "He has done mighty deeds with His arm;
He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart.
52 "He has brought down rulers from their thrones,
And has exalted those who were humble.
53 "HE HAS FILLED THE HUNGRY WITH GOOD THINGS;
And sent away the rich empty-handed.
54 "He has given help to Israel His servant,
In remembrance of His mercy,
55 As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and his descendants forever."
A young virgin by the name of Mary was told by the angel Gabriel that by the Holy Spirit she would conceive in her womb and bear the Son of the Most High. Mary’s responded to the angel, “Behold, I am the bondslave of the Lord, may it be done to me according to your word.”
Think about what Mary’s obedience could potentially cost her. She was betrothed to a carpenter by the name of Joseph. Her reputation in the community would be damaged beyond repair. What would her parents think and how would they treat her? What would Joseph think and how would he treat her? What would Mary’s relationship with Joseph and her family be from here on out?
This was going to be hard for Mary, but God with whom nothing is impossible, is going to confirm it. Along the way, He is going to give confirmation and assurance in Mary’s humble obedience. Along with the greatest task that takes the most determined obedience comes the greatest joy and the greatest assurance and confirmation that this is of God and that He will perform it.
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And coming in, he said to her, "Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you." 29 But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. 30 The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. 31 "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 "He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end." 34 Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" 35 The angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. 36 "And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. 37 "For nothing will be impossible with God." 38 And Mary said, "Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.
Who were the Magi and what can we learn from them? These Wise Men teach us five important lessons that we can apply today as we seek to worship the Lord Jesus Christ.
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times," wrote Charles Dickens in a Tale of Two Cities. We also live in that kind of time where there is dismal darkness and all the news seems bad. But the message of Christmas is that that the Good News always dispels the bad news like light dispels the darkness. The prophet Isaiah wrote, "The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them" (Isa. 9:2).
What is it about the whole Christmas thing that makes it full of anticipation and excitement? What was it that made Zacharias sing of his Redeemer?
Christmas is not about what we can get done or not get done, Christmas is about what God has done and how we respond to Him.