Every year at Christmas time I’m drawn to Mary’s song, “The Magnificat” in Luke 1.
Mary, a humble servant, favored and blessed, sings of the mercy, goodness, and favor of God. How could Mary, who certainly knew the scrutiny she would face being pregnant and unwed, exalt the Lord and magnify God? How could she consider herself blessed and favored knowing that the baby she would birth and raise was the spotless lamb who would be slaughtered?
Mary could sing and rejoice because she knew who God was, what He had done, and what He was going to do.
The way in which the praises of God effortlessly rolled off Mary’s tongue prove she knew the Scriptures. Because she knew the Word of God and believed His Word, she sang. She sang over her salvation (v.47). She sang over God’s blessings (v.48), and His greatness (v.49). She sang of God’s might (v.49) and His holiness (v.49). She sang of God’s mercy (v.50). She sang of God’s strength (v.51) and sovereignty (v.52). She sang over the way in which He scatters the proud and exalts the humble (v.51). She sang over God’s goodness to fill the hungry with good things (v.53). She sang because she knew God to be a faithful covenant keeper (v.55). She sang because she knew God.
How can we, like Mary, see past our struggles? How can we be prepared for the trials that are to come? How can we sing the praises of God during life’s hardships? Like Mary, we fill our hearts, souls, and minds with the Word of the Lord. We come before Him hungry, asking Him to fill us with good things. It would be impossible to declare all the wonderful things of God without knowing who He is. We cannot know who the living God is apart from His living Word.
How do we fill our heart, soul, and minds with God’s Word?
- We study it. We commit ourselves to learn the sacred text.
- Find a friend or small group and study together. Mary’s life was marked by discipleship. Her knowledge of the Scriptures came from the faithful teaching of friends and relatives. Don’t be afraid to ask someone to help you.
- Choose a book of the Bible and stay there. Read repetitively and ask questions of the text. Mary was described twice in Scripture as a woman who pondered and treasured truth in her heart. When you read, slow down, ponder and meditate on God’s Word. Treasure His truths.
Mary, a young woman who sang with unwavering certainty that nothing is impossible with God, would face what Simeon described as a sword to her soul: the brutal crucifixion of her son and Lord. But being saturated in the promises of God’s Word, she sang because she knew that her earthly son was the eternal King who would bring salvation to those who believe. Mary considered her trials small compared to the sweetness of God’s grace.
And we, too, can sing a sweet melody of praise for God’s mercy, goodness, and favor. Even in our darkest moments-moments where we feel our soul has been pierced by a sword-we can open the Scriptures and sing a song of gladness over kept promises, God’s sovereignty, His victory over death, and His regard for those who love Him. May we be humble disciples who hunger for the Word and rejoice in the Lord’s faithfulness to fill us with good things.
– Natalie Long
Natalie is a wife and mom and serves as the Women’s Ministry Director at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Hendersonville, NC. She is passionate about teaching women sound theology. Her greatest love, after Jesus and her family, is equipping women to think deeply about the Scriptures. You can find Natalie on Instagram @natalie_long12 or on Facebook.