My soul magnifies the Lord…
These beautiful words found in Luke are known as "The Magnificat" or the Song of Mary. Simple, yet profound, they reflect a young life that understood the meaning of joy. Mary’s song, which begins, "My soul magnifies the Lord", reflects the "sacred joy" of one who is full of God Himself.
Happiness at Christmas is often reflected through parties, holiday decorations or exotic destinations. The search for "good cheer" is everywhere. The gladness of Mary’s song, however, transcends what many perceive as happiness. The focus of her song is a joy that can only be described as "holy".
Perhaps this is true because Mary’s joyful song is "divine": its subject is the incarnation of God Himself. Worthy of music without equal, the song concerns "the Word made flesh" who dwells among us. God among men: no longer is a great gulf fixed between God and His people. The humanity of our Savior has bridged the gap. And there is now "a High Priest" who can sympathize with every one of man’s problems. Jesus was "tempted in all things, yet without sin."
Yet, the subject of this holy hymn is not so much theological as it is personal. Mary’s hymn delights that Jesus, Immanuel, was to be born of her: a special gift of matchless grace. Indeed, only Mary received this great privilege when she was chosen to bear our Lord.
But those who name the name of Christ also carry a great honor. They, too, have received "special favor"—the indwelling presence of Jesus Christ. And in this presence there is a pleasure that is so overwhelming that it defines joy in a totally new way. For happiness is being filled with Christ. Joy is not things—it is Jesus.
This Christmas, imitate this most blessed of women; a young girl who understood the true meaning of joy; a young girl whose joy overflowed in praise to her God. May the joy of being "in Christ" provoke praise in your soul.
Meditate on this beautiful Christmas song. Let the "Magnificat" take you to the best Christmas ever. Ponder these words and then sing "My soul magnifies the Lord." For you are privileged—you are filled with "God, my Savior."
Have a "Merry Christmas"! Let your holy song of joy inspire great praise for your great Savior.