And Mary said,
‘My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
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 powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’
And Mary remained with her for about three months and then returned to her home.
Magnify! by Andrew
Do you like surprises? Maybe a surprise party, or gift, or a visit from a friend or family member? I’ve found most people only, “sort of,” like them…they prefer to be prepared. At the very least, the size of the surprise definitely correlates with one’s comfort toward it. So how about that bomb the angel dropped on Mary? This very young woman, not yet married, was just told she would be bearing God’s Son! But with all that, what was her response? This beautiful collection of verses (us bible nerds like to call them a “periscope”) that reads more like a poem than what a typical surprised teenager would say!
This periscope is often called, “The Magnificant,” (Latin for: my soul MAGNIFIES the Lord) or the “Ode of the Theotokos,” (Greek for: God-bearer) and has been set to music countless times for hundreds of years. When was the last time someone took your surprised response and set it to music?
I think that sometimes those of us identifying as Protestant Christians get funny about venerating Mary, but in reading this, her response to what would likely be the biggest surprise of her life…girl deserves some credit.
How can we be more like Mary, the Theotokos, the God-bearer; when surprises enter our lives…particularly those we maybe didn’t want or ask for? Through this song we can see an example of seeking help initially (she is saying this to her relative Elizabeth who she’d stay with the next three months) and she then processes what good God will do through this “surprise.”
So this Advent, a time of year when we know surprises, whether big or small, are imminent, let’s be like Mary. Seek help from the loves ones, take time to reflect on these surprises, and let God guide you to the good that can come from them – and ultimately MAGNIFY God through our lives.