Happy Christmas Eve! As we move into our last day of preparation before we celebrate the birth of our King, I’d like for us to take a moment and reflect on another mommy’s Christmas preparations. If you can, grab your Bible and turn to Luke 1:26-56. I’ve also printed it below for you. Before you begin, ask God to let His words pierce your heart as we look at His daughter, Mary.
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
What a powerful, beautiful passage. It starts with an angel coming to Mary, and how does she respond first? She was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. Isn’t it mind-blowing that her first reaction to the visit of the angel was discernment. Too often, especially as women, we use emotion to lead us. Emotions are a dynamic driving force which have the great potential to carry us about by “every wind of doctrine” (Eph 4:14). Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14), so we’d be the wiser to seek God before assuming everything we feel is from Him. We are always hearing, and saying, perhaps too often, “I feel like God…” or “I have this feeling God…” or “God told me…”, which may be the case. But, sometimes we put words in God’s mouth without inquiring of Him first. Mary saw the angel, and before anything else, tried to figure out what this thing was and what was being said to her. The angel responds with reassurance.
Mary’s story is a gorgeous example of humility. Her message was not one of exalting herself; quite the opposite, actually. She used discernment, asked how this could possibly happen, and submitted herself to the will of her God. Excitedly, she quickly made her way to Elizabeth’s house, who was filled with the Holy Spirit upon Mary’s arrival and confirmed what the angel had told her. And all Mary could do was gush praises to her Father. Mary knew her scripture. She knew that this child was the One promised to Abraham (v. 55). She was overwhelmed with God’s favor and blessing. Her words spoken in response to Elizabeth are called The Magnificat, latin for the soul magnifies. All she wanted at that point was to make much of Him. To magnify Him. To rejoice in Him and praise Him. The depth of her very being was exalting God. Mary hadn’t done anything to deserve the blessing. She knew that everyone, for the rest of history, would say “now that Mary, she was blessed more than any other woman.” She was favored. She was floored that God had chosen her in her “humble estate.”
You are favored. You haven’t done anything to deserve the blessing. Your God has chosen you in your “humble estate.” As a believer, you are filled with Him. The Holy Spirit resides in you. Let it seep in to the depth of your soul, and magnify His Name today.
Bless you, Father, for the gift of your Son. What a precious, precious day. Help us to make much of You today. We magnify your Name.