A Weighty Responsibility
Mary’s song—also called the Magnificat—is one of three hymns recorded in Luke 1-2 that declare the covenant faithfulness of God. Zechariah prophesies about God’s salvation after John the Baptist is born, then Simeon rejoices as he comes face to face with his Savior in the temple. Joining in praise with these 2 men, Mary beautifully proclaims through song how personal and communal God’s redemptive work is.
The role God blessed her with held supernatural significance for all of humanity; the lives of both Jews and Gentiles would never be the same. But being the mother of Jesus was also deeply personal for Mary. No one else in the world would know what it felt like to carry the Son of God. The emotional weight, the awe and joy, the deep questions and ponderings of this young mother would only be fully grasped by God Himself. How beautiful is that!
The confident joy that Mary exhibits as she declares the wonder of God’s individual and collective work brings encouragement and conviction to my heart. For the last few years, I was a caregiver for my father. I was in college for part of that time and returned on the weekends to help out at home. While the Lord provided dear friends to encourage and support me, I knew that my experience was one that few of my peers could relate to. Most of them weren’t coming to class having fed, clothed, and cared for their father the night before. What I was living through was deeply personal; and yet, I saw God work in humbling, communal ways as He brought friends and strangers into our lives to walk with our family and experience His loving faithfulness with us.
God gave Mary a weighty responsibility, but He also granted her a willing, joyful spirit to trust in His faithfulness. Let Mary’s song of praise be our response too! May we magnify the Lord both for the great things He does in the intimate spaces of our lives and for His glorious work that extends beyond us, throughout the generations.
For Family Discussion: Can you remember some of God’s promises to us? What are they? What helps you to remember that God is a promise-keeper?
For Personal Reflection: How has your salvation impacted the people closest to you? How has your redemption benefited them?
by Christina Crawford