Summary: Since praise and worship are so important in a Christian’s life, let’s see what we can learn about praise and worship from the Song of Mary.
"A WOMAN FILLED WITH PRAISE"
Theme: An Example of adoration in worship
Passage: Lu. 1: 46 - 56
Text: Luke 1: 46* And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
Dear Mary, how she was overwhelmed by the events which were swirling around her. You have sometimes felt like that, haven’t you? When all the events happening in your life were coming too fast for you, when you knew God was up to something in your life, but you were uncertain what the next step was, you have felt somewhat overwhelmed.
Just think about this young woman. Hers was not an exceptional life, just a simple daily experience of growing up, of living a life of devotion to God, of falling in love, of being betrothed to Joseph. Then suddenly, unexpectedly, a visit from an angel, with such a shock to her system. The unbelievable news that she had been chosen by God, that she was to bear a child and this child should be the “Son of the highest”, that he should be a king upon the throne of David, one whose kingdom should never end, and that all of this should be accomplished supernaturally by the power of the Holy Spirit. What was she to think? What was she to do?
Well the angel had rather pointed her in a specific direction. Lu 1:36 "Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.”
An idea lodged itself in her heart. She would go to see Elizabeth.
It is interesting that there is no word of her speaking to her mother about the strange prediction. No, it is to Elizabeth, who has also experienced a miracle, the miracle of conception in old age, just as Sarah and Abraham. In fact it is suggested that Zecharias and Elizabeth lived in Hebron, the burial place of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca.
It was a journey of more than 100 km. Even if she took the shortest route, it was perhaps 15 km farther than she later travelled with Joseph on their way to Bethlehem. How did she travel? With whom did she travel? We have no idea. But she arrived and when she entered Elizabeth’s house, she received a surprising confirmation of her own story. 41 “And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” Notice that! And now she spoke, not just out of her own knowledge but as a prophecy of the Spirit of God.
Luke 1:42 “ she spoke out with a loud voice and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 "But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 "For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.45 "Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord."
Do you hear that? "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! “ “The mother of my Lord”.
Now bring together these various strands, the angel’s message, the constant pondering during the long journey to see Elizabeth, Elizabeth’s inspired prophecy, and you have the response of Mary, a woman filled with praise.
Praise and worship is a very important part of a Christian’s life. Let’s see what we can learn about praise and worship from this what we call the Magnificat, or the Song of Mary.
1. Praise flows out of a desire to worship God.
46 And Mary said: "My soul magnifies the Lord,
The word for magnify means to enlarge or make great; or to declare to be great; to esteem highly; to extoll; to celebrate.
All our praise springs out of the abundant greatness of God. He is so glorious, so marvellous, so precious.
One cannot make the Lord greater than He is, but one can recognize that greatness, one can exalt that greatness, one can speak out of a spirit overflowing with that greatness. That is what Mary did.
47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
I want you to notice her recognition of her own need of a Saviour. There are those who worship Mary as sinless, even as the mother of God. They have practically deified her, but Mary would be shocked, for she herself had no delusions of grandeur.
Though she was a pure young woman, though she was a chosen young woman, she knew that she herself needed a Saviour. She is full of praise to God for His condescension to use a lowly maidservant like her.