As we usually reflect on Luke 1:46-55 as part of the Christmas story I believe that we miss the significance of Mary’s Song (Magnificat) for us in dealing with the worries, fear and anxieties of daily life.
Mary was a teenager probably thirteen or fourteen at most. She was engaged and pregnant but not by her fiancé, Joseph. She was telling a ‘wild story’ about an angel and a baby who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and would be the Son of God. At the time of the ‘song’ she had traveled through the dangerous hills of Judea to visit the one person who would really believe her.
How did she find the inner strength and peace to face the birth of this child, the potential rejection by Joseph and then the exile to Egypt to escape the murdering armies of King Herod? Her soul magnified (glorified) the Lord and her spirit rejoiced in God her Saviour.
To magnify is to hold in greater esteem or respect; to enlarge; to colour or elaborate. Glorify means to bestow honour or praise; to light up brilliantly; to cause to be seen better then before. Our soul is that part of us that thinks, has emotion, interprets events and responds with choices good or bad. Our spirit is the core of our being that gives and sustains life. It is the place where God’s Spirit dwells and where He communicates with us; the place where He reveals who He truly is; the place where He brings comfort and gives direction for the day to day of life.
Mary made an active choice to reflect on (think about) and express out loud who God is and what He had done for her people (Israel) and for her personally. Out of those acts of praise and thanksgiving she experienced a peace and a joy that overcame rejection, fear, worry and anxiety throughout her life, even on the day she saw her Son, who was also her Saviour, die on a Cross.
How do we find peace in troubling times? How do we overcome fear, worry and the anxious choices that result? ‘Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends understanding will guard your mind and your spirit in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 4:6-7). We need to be daily writing our own Magnificat. We intensify our image of God; we enlarge our understanding of Him; we light Him up brilliantly. In doing so the worries seem small in comparison and there will be a deeper level of peace and joy in the midst of our circumstances.
Prayer: Father, I give You my thoughts, my emotions and my choices. Today I choose to thank and praise You for who You are and all You have done for me. May the light of Your glory overcome the darkness of fear and worry in my life. I choose to worship You. Amen.
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