Mary and the Magnificat
As we end our Christmas Devotional, we’re continuing to meditate on Mary and marvel at the amazing hope her story brings us, as women. We can rejoice in the fact that when God was looking around for a mother to carry His son, He looked for an ordinary girl.
Mary did nothing that every mother reading this hasn’t done. She did nothing extraordinary herself. She carried a baby in her womb for nine months. She went through labor. She changed the baby’s swaddling clothes. Her confinement and delivery were uncomfortable, but many other mothers have had babies in even more difficult circumstances.
1. The Revolution of God
God doesn’t choose the charismatic, beautiful, talented, articulate people that we think should be the leaders. God can’t stand human pride. He tumbles the proud to the bottom of the heap. He takes kings and princes and presidents and tumbles them down. He takes the humble and lowly and raises them up.
Why did God choose the Jews? Because they were great? NO! Because they were small! They didn’t have anything to offer Him, so He said, “They’ll be my people.” When God’s call came to someone in the Old Testament, how often did they say, “I’m not equipped! I don’t have the personality! I can’t even speak! I’m a gardner!”
When Jesus chose the Twelve He didn’t say, “Who is important and gifted?” He saw fisherman and told them to follow Him; they were a bunch of ordinary men. That’s just like God, isn’t it? It’s a spectacular and strange thing that confounds our human understanding. He doesn't pick the cream from the top of the social crop. He is such a God who looks at how human society is structured and He wants to turn the whole thing upside-down.
One man said that the Magnificat is the most revolutionary document in the world.
2. The Girl Who Was No One
Though Mary knew she was descended from David, she had never considered that she would be the mother of the Son of David. She wasn’t living in the right place. (She was living in the uncultured North in Nazareth from which no good thing ever came.) She was on the very fringe of her family, forgotten by the family. Most of David’s descendants lived in Bethlehem or Jerusalem - where his family tribe still was. But she was way up north, married off to a poor laborer. Consider that when she went to Bethlehem, which we must assume was packed with her relatives, there was not a single relative to take her in.
She says in the Magnificat, “He remembered me,” as if she was saying that she was the forgotten girl in the family.
She was a lowly handmaiden at the bottom of things. But God remembered her. The Holy Spirit enabled Mary to see what kind of a God our God is; He chooses nobodies and remembers them. It’s a social revolution.
Sweet friends, right at this moment of time, how many of you are feeling forgotten? Unseen? Overlooked? Sink into the extraordinary reality that you are seen, known, valued, and delighted in by the Uncreated God, the Maker of the Heavens and the Earth.
3. Why Her?
We like to ask, “What did Mary have that other women didn’t?”
We think that, in response to that question, Mary would say, “What does God have that I don’t; then you have the reason that He chose me!”
One of the most remarkable things about Mary was that she believed God was going to do what He said He was going to do! The response of her heart was, “Let it be to me according to your word.” She didn’t argue with God. She didn’t need to stop and think about it. She said, “YES” and submitted herself to that process.
As women, there is so much hope in Mary’s story. We see that God is not looking for perfect people who have it all together, who look amazing and function perfectly! Instead, He’s looking for ordinary people who He is going to do extraordinary things through.
It was not Mary’s perfection or her over-achieving that we are told of. (Those aren’t things that Jesus wants us to remember about His mama.) We can instead reflect upon her humility and her faith, the way that song burst out of her with such remarkable gratitude and joy.
4. The View of God
Another thing that’s shocking is how the Lord sees us, before we’ve even done a thing. Gabriel calls Mary “blessed” before she’s done anything. Before we’ve responded appropriately, or submitted our hearts, the Lord rejoices over us! Look at how, when the Holy Spirit fell on Jesus in Luke 3, it was before He had done anything. Before He had preached a sermon or done a miracle, the Father affirmed His value and loved on Him.
We are loved and accepted by the Father exactly where we are.
5. What We Carry
The last mention of Mary in scripture, the last use of her name, puts her among 120 ordinary people. 120 normal people are in a prayer meeting and they’re saying, “Lord, may your holy spirit come upon us.” And it did! And the same thing that happened to Mary happened to them: their mouths were opened and they extolled the mighty works of God! Not only was the word of praise released, not only did they magnify the Lord and get a bigger and bigger view of the Lord, but the Holy Spirit did His unique work and began to form Christ within them!!!
They became bearers of the Son of God to carry Him within their own bodies to a world that so needed a savior.
Isn’t that incredible?
It’s such a beautiful picture: what Mary got to experience in the physical, carrying the Lord inside of her, we now get to experience in the spiritual.
For this new year, God isn’t looking for great people. He’s not looking for great deeds or great gifts or great abilities. God is saying, “All I’m looking for are ordinary people who will let me do extraordinary things in them. All I’m looking for is unpromising material through whom I may fulfill my promises. All I’m looking for are the responses which Mary gave to me and which are responses that any ordinary person can give.”
There is nothing that Mary did that any one of us can’t do.
She believed that God could do what He said He could do. Nothing more. And she was willing to submit to that plan.
Merry Christmas from all of us here at Moolily!