“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
How my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour!
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
After hearing the news that she was to become the impossible mother, that God was to use this regular ordinary girl to bring about His salvation plan for the world, Mary goes to visit her relative Elizabeth, who Gabriel had told her was also pregnant in miraculous circumstances. Elizabeth is ecstatic to see her and hear the great news that Mary has received. And while she is visiting Elizabeth Mary sings this song of praise to God her Saviour.
In her song of praise Mary remembers God’s faithfulness through generations of waiting. She acknowledges His mighty. She reminds us of the great deeds He has done for His people and how mighty He is, how worthy He is of praise. Mary reminds us of the faithfulness of God to fulfil a promise made thousands of years ago to Adam and Eve, and to Abraham, a promise that had been running throughout the entirety of history and now was coming together. Mary responds the only way that is right to the faithfulness of God – in an outpouring of the heart in praise.
Praise is the only fitting response to what God has done for us. Praise is the only fitting response to the act of love Jesus showed in coming down from heaven and reaching out to us. Praise is the only way to respond to the centuries of waiting ending with the promised serpent crusher coming. Praise is the only way we can respond to God at work in our lives. This Christmas we need to set aside time for praise. Time to let our worship pour out like Mary did in gratitude to our God who has done so much for us. In appreciation to Jesus who paid it all for us, who washed the crimson stain of our sin white as snow. No one else on earth and nothing else on earth deserves our praise. This Christmas we need to bring an offering of praise and worship to our King. Praise to the One who let the throne of heaven and touched earth, bringing peace and hope to all mankind. Like Mary, let praise to Him be always on our lips this Christmas!