Mary responded, “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed. For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me. He shows mercy from generation to generation to all who fear him. His mighty arm has done tremendous things! He has scattered the proud and haughty ones. He has brought down princes from their thrones and exalted the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands. He has helped his servant Israel and remembered to be merciful. For he made this promise to our ancestors, to Abraham and his children forever.” Luke 1:46-55
Praise comes naturally to people who have their eyes on the big picture of what God is doing. Mary responds to Elizabeth with "Oh how my soul praises... how my spirit rejoices". People rarely start sentences with "Oh" or "how". In my family it would be "Oh what a baby you are..." or "How sick is that?" When "Oh" and "how" are used positively it is really a big deal. "Oh, how" doesn't add to the meaning, it is totally unnecessary AND completely needed. It is pure emotion - a groan, a gasp of joy. And I am surprised.
I thought Mary would be caught up in her single mother angst, but not at all. She is like a person who just won the lottery, beside herself with excitement. Mary is a God centered person, so her response focuses on God:
- God my Savior - the mother of the Savior also needs a Savior
- he took notice - my grandson Ethan thinks the grown-ups in his life don't notice him. We do. When God "takes notice" or "remembers" it always implies "takes action". It is more than focusing attention, it is doing something to change the situation.
- the Mighty One is holy - Can you imagine if the Mighty One were NOT holy or loving or just? It would be like having the head of ISIS in charge of the universe.
- He has done great things for me - Mary has an eternal, long term perspective. It has been 1000's of years since the Lord made promises to Abraham, but Mary knows those promises and believes they are being fulfilled. She's not worried about the next 6 months or 5 years, she is part of God' unfolding plan of redemption.
- He has scattered the proud... brought down princes, exalted the humble, filled the hungry, sent away the rich, helped his servant Israel. Mary sees all the promises of the ages coming together "in the fullness of time, God sent his Son, born of woman" (Galatians)
- For He made this promise to our ancestors and to Abraham - The seed of Gen 12:3 has sprouted in Mary's womb. Destiny is unfolding before her eyes and she has a role to play.
Lord, what is my role in this sacred plan? When did I last get so excited about what you're doing that I cried out "Oh God!" You took notice of Mary. Do you take notice of me? remember me? It is incredible that the unfolding of your eternal plan of salvation included a lowly girl named Mary. It is even more incredible that it includes a flawed man named Allan. I have a role to play too. "Go and make disciples" Jesus said. Thank you Lord for giving my life meaning and significance. Amen