Thursday 22 December 2016

Bible Book:

“My soul magnifies the Lord.” (v. 46)

Luke 1:46-56 Thursday 22 December 2016

Psalm: Psalm 10


"More than almost any other song in the Bible (the Magnificat)has linked worshippers across the millennia, in an affirmation ofthe God before whom human beings of every age and continenttogether bow in awe." (Elaine Storkey).

Mary's song of praise to God, which springs from her in responseto Elizabeth's blessing, picks up the theme of the God who keepspromises. You may be able to trace two parts within it. 

  • In verses 46-49, Mary's focus is on how God has blessed her, byaffirming her even though she was not among the great and powerfulof the land, and keeping the promise which would link herinextricably with God's plan of salvation. But Mary's themethroughout is not herself, it is the holy and glorious saviourGod.
  • In verses 50-55, the scene for God's saving work extends farbeyond Mary to all humanity. Were you to read this passage in Greekyou would be struck by the way in which each line starts with astrong verb. God is at work and the whole saving, life-changinginitiative is God's! So, just as Mary has been exalted so thehumble are lifted up. Just as Mary has been satisfied in God so thehungry will be filled with good things. God turns human rankingsupside down.

Israel herself might feel weak and powerless. God is stillmerciful to her and keeps God's own promise. All this is not simplyGod at play. Rather its purpose is God's saving work - thatsalvation will reach beyond the boundaries of Israel to all thenations, and Mary's child will be the Saviour.

To Ponder

  • Mary could sing of the glory of God because she already had asense of it. What helps you to appreciate God's glory, and how canyou express that glory?
  • One version of the Magnificat begins 'Sing we a song of high revolt' and laysparticular stress on the way in which God turns human affairs ontheir head. Does the thought of a revolutionary God exciteortrouble you? Why?
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