JOY. Advent 3. Mary’s Magnificat found in Luke 1:46-56 shares with us the basis for her joy at this time. Like us she lived in political uncertainty from the Romans, coping with a medical condition that would bring her isolation, and a family distanced as she had traveled to see her cousin Elizabeth pregnant with John, the Baptist. As Elizabeth affirms Mary’s pregnancy and belief in her, Mary, in the midst of the realities of life, not denying them, bursts into this song.
46 And Mary[f] said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50 His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
She found joy because she realizes
- God does not distain her lowly condition. God cares about the poor and powerless.
- God does great things in our common lives to his glory.
- God is merciful.
- God is strong and defeats the proud, caring about the humble.
- God has defeated the powerful and exalted common.
- God fills the hungry and defeats those that trust in their riches.
- God helps and keeps his promises through generations.
That is a list worth pondering and finding joy in, even today. Perhaps today just soak in this YouTube version musically of Mary’s Magnificat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvRcGnMX3jU . I was surprised to find a song based on the praise and prayer of Joseph that expresses some of the same themes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KT4VDAIaMwU . If joy eludes you today in the cares and burdens of these days, rest in these songs and the truths they impart to us. I do not have to feel it for it to be true! My soul rejoices not because of who I am but because of what God has done. Blessings, hope, peace and joy as you wait for Christmas.