And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”
Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.
Mary’s song is known by many as the Magnificat, which is a Latin word meaning, “to magnify”. This beautiful song arose spontaneously from Mary after the words said by Elizabeth, “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.”
When I imagine Mary and Elizabeth in this moment, I see an almost visceral energy circulating around these two remarkable women, both pregnant with a promise that would not only change their own lives, but all of human history. Yet, it’s important to remember that Mary’s song was offered well before she had received what was promised. She did not wait to give thanks. She did not wait to tell of God’s goodness. She did not wait to share her joy.
It can feel vulnerable and risky to share our own stories before we have received what has been promised. We are tempted to wait to give thanks until we can be sure that what we heard whispered in our hearts was true after all. I have seen how doubt can at times be a healthy friend on the journey of seeking God, but when we allow doubt to close our hands in fear rather than open them in worship and awe, we are missing out on the joy of truly trusting in God.
Mary’s trust in God’s promise is a gift to us. When I read her song, I feel braver in my own faith. That is the power of joyful, genuine worship. It echos longer and reaches farther than we may ever know.
Have you ever worshiped God in the midst of unfinished stories and unfulfilled promises? Was the joy worth the risk of trusting?
We confess that we have not always believed what You have promised. We have not always chosen to take You at your word, and have missed out on the true joy and hope that comes from trusting You. May our hearts gain courage in the middle of our stories, worshiping You boldly so that our joy in Christ might be multiplied.