Saturday, February 20, 2016

Luke 1:46-56

Luke 1:46-56
And Mary said, “My soul praises the greatness of the Lord, and my spirit greatly rejoices upon God my savior because He looked upon the low status of his slave.  For behold!  From now on all generations will call me blessed because the powerful one did great things for me.  And His name is holy and His mercy is into generation after generation to the ones who fear Him.  He did mighty deeds in His arm, He scattered the haughty by the thought in their hearts.  He brought down the powerful from thrones and He exalted the lowly in status.  The ones who hunger, He filled up with good things; the ones who are rich He sent away empty-handed.  He helped His servant Israel, to be remembered in mercy, just as it was spoken to our fathers – to Abraham and to his descendants into the ages.”  And Mary remained with her for three months and then returned into her home.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

First and foremost, we see that Mary has learned the lesson of Gabriel.  When great things happened, we should focus on God.  Even when great things happen to us, God is the focus.  His name should be praised at all times.  That is what we see happening here.  Mary gives the praise and glory to the Father.  What has happened to her is a wonderful and scary thing, but God gets the glory.  That’s really the way that it should be.

How good are you at giving God the glory?  When is it easy for you to praise God?  When is it easier for you to focus on yourself and your own benefit while forgetting the God who fills your life with grace and mercy?

Second Thought:

The second thing that jumps out at me in this passage is Mary’s focus on God’s strength.  We’ll get to why this happens in the next thought.  But for now, we focus again on God’s strength.  He is all-powerful.  He is capable of lifting up the lowly.  He is capable of putting the rich in their place and having them walk away empty-handed.  I am reminded of all of the stories to come in the Gospel.  How many times will we see Jesus lift up the ones who come humbly to Him or who are lowly and in need?  How many times will we see Jesus turn away the arrogant and the proud and the socially elite?  What I find interesting about this whole discussion is that it is the very character of God that lifts up the lowly.  At the same time, it is the character of God that the rich and elite walk away from empty-handed.  It is God’s character that people reject or in which they find salvation.

Are you drawn to God’s character?  What is it about God that you find appealing?  Has God ever been your strength when you were lowly and humble?

Third Thought:

This naturally leads us to why it is that Mary would focus upon God’s strength – and more broadly, His character in general.  Remember who Mary was.  She was a girl from a town without a good reputation.  She was young.  She was unmarried, but betrothed to be married.  She had no children, but was suddenly finding herself inexplicably pregnant.  She had a lot going on in her life, and most of it was things for which the world around her would have looked down upon her.  She would feel lowly.  She would feel the judgment of the world upon her shoulders.  She would feel a connection to a God who has the power and the character to save.

Have you ever appreciated God’s power to save?  Have you truly known God’s power in your life?  Do you think it is necessary to be humble in order to understand God’s power?


Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 1:57-66
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