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Journey to Bethlehem Day 23 Luke 1:39-56

Monday, December 24

Luke 1:39-56

39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

46 And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
    For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
    and holy is his name.
50 And 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 mighty from their thrones
    and exalted those of humble estate;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
    and the rich he has sent away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
    in remembrance of his mercy,
55 as he spoke to our fathers,
    to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

56 And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.

An angel had visited Mary and told her she would have a child who would be the Son of God. He told her the Holy Spirit would come upon her and that this child would be divine. He also told her that her cousin Elizabeth who was old and barren was with child. So, Mary got up and left “with haste” to go and see Elizabeth. 

What a confirmation of her faith it must have been for her when she arrived there! Luke records for us the song of spiritual beauty that flowed from Mary’s heart in response to God’s gracious and merciful work on her behalf. It begins with “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”

Have you ever wondered how something so majestic was composed by this young Jewish girl who fully recognized her lowly position and called herself a mere handmaiden? Let’s see what we might learn from her example. 

Mary recognized and believed the word given to her. She welcomed and received the work of God into her life. Her whole identity was defined by her relationship with God, and her hope for the future rested on His promise and faithfulness. In her song she makes no less than 14 references to Old Testament scripture. The words, phrases, images and truth of the Torah were woven into the fabric of her daily life.  Her life was so saturated in the word of God that her heart was prepared to believe and respond with worship. 

Mary also demonstrates humility. She sang of a “mighty” God and acknowledged how small she was.  She believed that God blesses the lowly and those who look to him for mercy, but that what He was doing for her was for all His people. And it thrilled her heart!

Her words reveal that she knew who God was, and that she knew His ways and recognized the day of His appearing in her life and in her world.

We are an Advent people who want to prepare for the coming of the Lord, and to recognize His appearing. Like Mary, we lift our voices to magnify the Lord.

Father God,

    We ask that You prepare our hearts to believe Your word when it comes to us, and then receive Your work in our lives.  Show us how to be saturated in Your word so that we know You and recognize Your coming.  Fill our hearts with rejoicing in Your mercy and love as we remember Your birth in Bethlehem and put a new song in our hearts to magnify You as we truly learn to long for Your appearing. In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

Merry Christmas!