Summary: We can celebrate the coming of the Messiah, the chosen one; the anointed one. And Mary’s song gives us at least 3 reasons to celebrate: greatness of the Lord, gospel of the Lord, and plans of the Lord.
December 24/25 Celebration (Song of Mary)
During the month of December, we have been taking a look at the various traditions that we need to maintain for Christmas to maintain its rightful place in our hearts. I’m not talking about traditions like hanging lights, decorating Christmas trees or wrapping gifts. I’m talking about something much deeper and much more important: taking time to enjoy family and friends, getting past all the glitz and glitter to exploring a deeper relationship with and a grander worship of the One who invaded this earth to bring us peace and joy.
And now this Christmas Eve, we want to add one more experience to the list of what makes for a great Christmas, and that is celebration! Our text tonight is known as the Magnificat. It gets its name from the 1st line of what is known as the Song of Mary. Mary is so overwhelmed at what’s going on in her life, she just breaks out in a song. Maybe she danced as well. Her opening stanza says, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.” Luke 1:46 That word proclaim can also be translated magnifies. My soul magnifies the greatness of the Lord! That’s why this is known as the Magnificat, which is the Latin word for magnify.
Mary is celebrating the coming of the Messiah; God incarnate; God in the flesh; Immanuel, God with us. And she is praising God that she would be the unworthy vessel for this incredible miracle that was happening.
Tonight, we too celebrate the coming of the Messiah, the chosen one; the anointed one. And Mary’s song gives us at least 3 reasons to celebrate.
1. We can celebrate the greatness of the Lord. v.46 “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.” The greatness of the Lord. What’s so great about Yahweh? Think about His attributes; who He is. I love that scene in the movie The Help that is set in 1950s Mississippi. The black maid played by Viola Davis was taking care of the white daughter that the mom didn’t seem to have time for. The maid would tell her, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” What can we say about Yahweh: He is kind. He is crazy smart. He is incredibly important. In fact, He is THE most important being in all the universe. Add to that that He is all-knowing, all-powerful, all-wise, Creator of all that is, Redeemer of all who call on Him, the God of all comfort, the God of all hope, the God who binds up wounds and dries up tears. What a great God! And we’ve just named a few of His attributes. Tonight we can celebrate the greatness of Yahweh.
2. Celebrate the gospel of the Lord. (build all 3 points w/o verses) vv. 47-48 “My spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior, 48 because He has looked with favor on the humble condition of His slave. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed.”
Mary proclaims that Yahweh looked on her with favor. And certainly that is true. Here was this poor, untitled, unknown 15-16 yr old girl that God sovereignly and arbitrarily chose to bear the Savior of the world. And because of that, every generation since then has been blessed because of her faith and obedience.
Mary already knew the gender and name of her child. An Angel had appeared to Joseph and told him in Matthew 1:21 that Mary would have a son, and His name would be Jesus because He would save the people from their sin. I’m quite sure this was the very first gender reveal party! They knew the gender AND the name. His name would be Jesus. Jesus in Hebrew is Yeshua, which means Yahweh saves.
Mary says, My spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. God my Savior. Mary called Yahweh her Savior. Despite what some may claim, Mary was not born perfect nor was she ever perfect; no where in the Bible can you find such a claim. Like you and me, she was a sinner. Perfect people don’t need Saviors. Mary was as flawed and depraved as you and me. Some may ask, if Mary was a sinner, how did Jesus avoid being tainted with that sin? Because the Scripture teaches that the seed of sin is passed down through the father, not the mother. And since the Holy Spirit brought about the pregnancy, not Joseph, Jesus was without sin. Jesus was without sin, but not Mary. Mary was a sinner, like you and me, in need of a Savior.
And that is the gospel, the good news: that God would enter into our humanity for the sole purpose of rescuing a hopelessly lost and broken people; that whoever would believe on Him would not perish, but be restored to the Father and gain eternal life. We can celebrate that tonight.