Mary\'s Song

Pastor Eric Schneiderhan

Mary’s Song
46 And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
47  and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49  for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”
Luke 1:46-55

Over the past four weeks we have been walking through Advent together as a church family and preparing our hearts to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. As I have been reflecting and preparing this week, I was reminded that though Christmas is a season characterized by hope, peace, joy, and love, for many in our community and around the world the Christmas season is quite difficult and painful.  Maybe, you are someone who has experienced great loss, and during this time when the world seems to be filled with so much joy, you feel overcome with sadness and longing. Or maybe you find yourself in a storm filled with unknowns and uncertainty about the future, and so this season of hope feels very much hopeless. The truth is the pain and chaos we experience doesn’t go away at Christmas, and in many ways the holidays have a way of magnifying our grief.

The question is, what do we do with it? One of my favorite sections of scripture pertaining the Christmas story is Mary’s song found in Luke 1:46-55. Often, we read about Mary and focus in on her incredible faithfulness. However, her faithfulness does not mean that she did not also feel afraid, or confused, or even sorrowful. Afterall, the implications of Mary being pregnant out of wedlock were severe, and Mary faced a lot personal risk and pain. This could be why Mary left Nazareth to visit her cousin Elizabeth in Judea immediately following the news from the Angel Gabriel that she would conceive and give birth to God’s son. In her greatest moment of confusion and unknown, Mary went to visit her “person of peace”, Elizabeth, who was also experiencing a miracle of similar magnitude. It’s amid what I believe could only be fear and confusion that Mary utters the Magnificat.

The reason why this is so significant for us is because at the moment of greatest upheaval in Mary’s life, she proclaims in worship a multitude of truths about who God is and how God provides. I want to suggest that we all can learn something extremely practical from Mary this Christmas. As we each experience pain and confusion in our own lives, and as we collectively face seasons of unknowns as a church, reflecting on the things we know are true about who God is and how he provides can act as a source of hope a reassurance for us.

Therefore, in light of the Christmas season, and regardless of your circumstances, there are a handful of things we can be reminded of and that Christmas reveals to us about who God is. God is a God who entered the suffering of this world in His son Jesus, to live and to die so that we could have eternity with Him. God is our provider and our hope. He is the one who loves us and sustains us. He is the light in the darkness and peace in the chaos. Let us be reminded of these things this Christmas as we worship and celebrate together.

Merry Christmas!




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