Mary’s Song

Posted by on Sep 10, 2014 in Faith Words |

Words of Faith

Rev. Rita S. Platt

December 16, 2012

“Mary’s Song”

 

Gospel        Luke 1:39-45

Have you ever had a simple, ordinary day and something extraordinary happens? You didn’t expect it, you didn’t plan for it; in fact, you may not have even wanted it. Sometimes we aren’t too sure what to make of these events.
Today I want to focus on what happens when the REALLY EXTRAORDINARY happens in our lives. What do we do when that happens? We can learn a great deal from the life of Mary, especially as she has an encounter – an extraordinary encounter – with the angel, Gabriel.
We don’t know where Mary was or what she was doing when the angel Gabriel came to visit her. But we know the story: Gabriel tells Mary she’s going to have a baby – and not just a baby – God’s son.

I’m not sure if Mary was smiling or scared out of her mind. She might have thought she was on the ancient version of “Candid Camera.” But Gabriel’s response in Verse 37 is one of the great Bible promises. He says, “For nothing is impossible with God.” Isn’t that a great statement? Nothing, nothing is impossible with God. I like it. That’s one of those statements you have to love.
But Mary’s the child of a religious family, engaged to a respectable member of the community and now she learns she is going to become pregnant. And the Father is none other than the Holy Spirit.
But who’s going to believe her story? Her parents? Joseph? Her friends? She walks into the house and tells her parents, “Mom, Dad, you may not believe this, but I’m going to have a baby.”

Mom’s and dad’s, how would you react? Maybe you’re not too happy about it, but Mary says, “Don’t worry, it’ll be okay because the daddy is God!” Now I’m sure that each parent here would believe your teen-aged daughter if she told you that!
Do you see what Mary was up against? Now add to her burden that being engaged in that society was far more binding than our modern engagement. Only divorce could break an engagement. Even though they were not yet married, if Mary was unfaithful it would have been adultery, punishable by death by stoning.

 

As a result of this news Mary visits her cousin, and she sings a song which Luke records. It’s commonly called the “Magnificat.” It’s called this because of the first line: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
I wonder if that’s the song we would have sung? Or would we have questioned, “Why couldn’t you wait until I was married?” Or “Why couldn’t you have told everyone, so I wouldn’t have to bear the shame and humiliation?”

Instead of those questions, Mary sings, “How I rejoice in God my Savior.” Mary’s entire attitude was one of praise and trust. In effect she was saying, “I may not understand it, I may not particularly enjoy it, and if I were in charge I very well may have done it differently, but I will trust that God knows what He’s doing and I will glorify Him.”
There’s a huge difference between resigned acceptance (“I don’t like it, but I’ll do it”) and praiseful acceptance, where you’re willing to take God at His word and believe in His promises. If God has allowed it to happen, then God has a purpose in it and that purpose is much bigger then we can usually imagine.

Mary goes on to sing, “For He, the Mighty One, is holy, and He has done great things for me.” A lesser soul could not have said that. Despised, ridiculed and gossiped about, yet Mary was able to see beyond the present circumstances to the future promises. Sometimes we get dragged down by those circumstances.
Her song focuses on four qualities of God: God’s holiness, His mercy, His strength and His faithfulness.

 

Are you singing a song of trust this Christmas? What’s occupying the prime spot in your mind? Are you worried about where the money for gifts will come from? Are you worrying about your health, the state of this world – especially after the shooting at an elementary school!

How about singing a song of trust? The Lord is not looking for people that have everything all nicely and neatly put together. He doesn’t want all of our ducks in a row. He doesn’t want the self – confident and independent. Remember Mary – the simple, inexperienced teenager chosen to be God’s mom.

Those that stop, just stop and put first things first. Those that are willing to put themselves beside Mary and humbly say, “May it be to me as you have said, Lord” will find their lives in good hands, their future secure, and eternal hope real.