December 23, 2021
Renni P. Morris
Tennessee Valley District
Mary’s Song of Praise
Luke 1:46b-55 (NRSV)
46 And Mary[a] said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50 His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
DevotionThe Magnificat (Latin for “my soul magnifies the Lord”) is Mary’s hymn of praise to God. Read frequently in the liturgies of Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches and in the Anglican communion, it is a scripture we too can embrace and live out. Mary, the Theotokos, was the “God-bearer” or “mother of God.” Her role may seem mysterious and too much to take in but hang on …
Mary believed in Immanuel, God with us. We can too. She watched for Jesus throughout each day. We can too. Jesus was her Teacher. Jesus can be our Teacher too. God’s grace was at work before Mary even realized it. God’s grace is at work in us as well.
When Martin Luther wrote about the Magnificat, he said, “I am only the workshop in which God operates.”
A footnote in The Renovaré Spiritual Formation Bible challenges us, saying, “… Immanuel has been at work in us long before we knew him. Now God offers us the chance to respond, ‘I am only the workshop in which you operate, God. Let it be with me according to your word.’ Can we offer ourselves as Mary did and let God form Christ in us?”
What steps can we take to get our workshops ready?