Luke 1:46-55 And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord (47) and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, (48) for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, (49) for the Mighty One has done great things for me– holy is his name. (50) His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. (51) He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. (52) He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. (53) He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. (54) He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful (55) to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers.”
Mary has just arrived at Elizabeth’s house after being told by the angel Gabriel that she has been chosen by God to bear His son, Jesus, the saviour of the world. Elizabeth herself is party to the miraculous workings of God as she too in her old age had been visited by Gabriel to tell her that she will be having a baby. Spirits are high and rejoicing is flowing. And Mary bursts forth in worship, praising God.
Mary’s praise is a reminder to us of one of the elements of worship and that is exaltation. Many times when we as Christians “spend time with God” by having a quiet time or meeting in fellowship groups, very often our focused time is not spent on exalting God, but rather on getting something from God. Even at church and despite the worship band’s or choir’s practiced efforts, our hearts are not inclined toward exalting God, but rather preparing our hearts and minds to “receive the Word”. Our attitude of worship then is what does God want to tell us, rather than what do we want to tell God.
And this is not a bad thing. A very large part of the Christian journey is about our sanctification. And for that, we need God to speak to us, to tell us how we are doing and what needs to change or improve. But that is not all there is to Christian worship. We forget many times that worship is about God and not about us. We lose sight of the exaltation.
One of the great ways that Mary’s exalted worship shows us how we can worship God through exaltation, is to remember. Moses said in Deuteronomy 32:7 “Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past.” And that is what Mary is doing here; she is remembering. Nine times in ten verses, Mary says has. God has, God, God has. And in her remembering, she sees God’s hand of deliverance and salvation at work. So Mary worships.
God does not need to be reminded of what He has done; we do. And our remembering allows us to be grateful for what God has already done for us, allowing us then to truly worship God through exaltation. And when have remembered and our hearts have inclined to exalt God, remember and even use the words of Mary, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. Holy is His name.”
my name is darryl
and this is what i have to say