A Joyful Heart for Christmas
“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 he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.” Luke 1:46-49
This passage is part of Mary’s “Magnificat,” her song of praise in response to the gift of her son, the Messiah.
It is similar to Hannah’s song in 1 Samuel 2:1-10 – “My heart exults in the Lord…I rejoice in your salvation. There is none holy like the Lord; for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.”
Hannah offers praise to God for the gift of her son, whom she gave back to the Lord to serve Him, a foreshadowing, perhaps, of Mary’s experience.
Mary and Hannah were young women. There is no indication that they were special in any visible way, but they both knew their “humble estate” before the Lord.
They rejoiced in God their Savior, because He had done great things for them. They rejoiced, not because of their circumstances: Hannah had been barren and not able to have children, and Mary was unmarried, but with child, and was about to be severely persecuted. They rejoiced over the blessing of life and that God had found favor with them.
After 400 years of silence from God, He sent an angel to bring good news to a young girl. God remembered His covenant.
Our rejoicing doesn’t rest on our circumstances. Let us not put our hope and expectation in the glitter, gifts, and experiences of Christmas.
In this Advent season, as we anticipate the celebration of the coming of the Messiah and His “good news of great joy,” let us remember our humble estate and the great things that God has done for us. “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!”
Lord, thank you for giving us the gift of your salvation and coming to us in our humble estate. May our souls magnify you and our spirits rejoice in you during this time of anticipation and celebration. You who are mighty have done great things, and holy is your name! Amen