Mary’s Song of Praise
Open Your Bible
Luke 1:39-56, Psalm 107:1-16
Section 3: The Light Dawns
When a child is born, a mother sings. Her song is full of joy and anguish, hope and longing—Is the baby okay? Am I okay? Will we make it through this life together? Ask any doctor, any midwife, any nurse, and they will tell you: the miracle of birth is awash with sound. And soon, the mother’s solo is interrupted by her child’s piercing squall. And just like that, the song becomes a duet.
It is another thing entirely to sing a song of praise before the birth even occurs. That is exactly what happens in Luke 1, when Mary visits Elizabeth and sings a song of faith, months before any of the treachery or triumph of Jesus’s birth had taken place. When Mary sings, she does so as a young woman, pregnant with a child of questionable parentage, believing in what ought to have seemed outlandish or improbable. But Mary believes, and Elizabeth, feeling the child in her womb leap with joy, understands that what Mary has been saying all along is true. Mary’s song, also known as the Magnificat, is mainly taken from the song of Hannah and other songs from Scripture (1 Samuel 2:1–10). But as Charles Spurgeon once preached, “this shows how Mary had studied the Word of God and laid it up in her heart.”
In a world that would have us keep our faith private, I find it convicting that Mary chose not to sing in private. Elizabeth bore witness to Mary’s song—and we, through the scriptures, likewise bear witness to her humble faith!
Can I say the same for me? Do I walk around in my life, singing literal and metaphorical songs of praise to my God for His faithfulness for others to hear? Or do I simply walk around, hoping others will see my talents, and praise me? Oh, how I long to be like Mary. And I can begin right now.
Over and over again, the Lord has been so good to me. When I was searching for a job in the midst of economic recession, a job appeared. When I was walking down a dark and lonesome path, hell-bent on destroying my marriage, God brought me back home. When I was childless and desperate to be a mother, God made a way. Time and time again, when darkness rolls in, He is by my side, catching my tears and holding me close. The Lord has not abandoned me. And He will not begin today.
Do not be mistaken. In our culture, there is a rip tide that seeks to drown us in selfishness. There are currents that would drag us under, convincing us to pursue hustle and influence, when all the while, the God of the universe stands waiting for His due praise. And we wonder why we feel so empty, singing songs about our own talents and abilities, into an echo chamber filled with other people singing about their talents and abilities. What a way to waste a life!
Do you hear Mary singing? We were never meant to magnify ourselves. We only truly come alive when we turn our praise to the one and only God who deserves our songs.