There are many songs in the Bible that we may not recognize. The Old Testament contains the Song of Solomon and what we call the book of Psalms that is really a collection of songs. At this Christmas time, we will turn our attention to the songs that were sung by key people in the Christmas story.
After Mary was told that she would be the mother of the Savior, in Luke 1:46-55 she sings what today is called the Magnificat. This was at a time in which she went to visit her cousin Elizabeth who was also pregnant in a miraculous way because she was a very old woman. We had the young and the old generations celebrating their miracle of a young girl becoming pregnant by the Holy Spirit and an old woman becoming pregnant by God’s promise. This song is like the one that Hannah prayed in 1 Samuel 2:1- 10. She also was an older woman who became pregnant by God’s promise. Mary sang a song that can be divided into four divisions.
Verses 46-48 she speaks of herself. She had deep feelings of joy, adoration, and surprise. She had only praise and thanks to say. In this area she talked of God her Savior. This is an important statement because it verifies that Mary and everyone else are sinners in this world. And she speaks of God’s favor that she would be blessed to have the child Jesus.
Verses 49, 50 offers the words in which she glorifies God as worthy. Even back in verse 35 God is recognized as the creator and no one is greater. He has all power. Therefore, he overshadows the power of conversion. She says that God did great things to her.
She speaks of God as being holy. This is his very nature and character. His love is displayed and demonstrated only by God. Here is the concrete realization of hope from God. Then she speaks of his mercy and the ministry of redemption. He is a king above all kings.
Vs. 51-53 speaks of the result for what she called divine pity. The past and the future are certain. The coming of the Christ as a visitor to the earth demonstrates his strong arm through all eternity. In verse 43, she speaks of him as the Messiah and the Son of the Lord. There are those who knew him not and rejected him. However, God’s purpose is to redeem. Read Titus 2:14. She speaks of God being the one who redeems people to himself for his holiness and for service. Read Luke 1:74, 75. And if course what is included here is that God would use an instrument of low degree like this handmade. She was a handmaiden, she was virtuous, and devout.
Verses 54, 55 she gives gratitude for the eternal faithfulness of God. How remarkable it is for Mary’s part of God’s plan and she responds in meek acceptance for his purpose in her life! Elizabeth had temporary and static joy. Mary had an inner bubbling of quiet joy. The baby Jesus was descended from Abraham’s seed, and the two women were the generation of the faithful.
What a remarkable event it was for this young girl to give birth to the Savior of the world, including for her own salvation. She did not respond in a boastful manner. She experienced the one and only opportunity to be used by God in such a remarkable way. This Christmas song asks the question. How would we respond if God wanted to use us in some special way? How prepared are we spiritually to be selected by God for a special purpose? Would we function according to his directive and accomplish the goals that he sought through us?