Summary: Mary was willing to be the Lord’s servant, she followed God’s plans for her life even though it later included the death of her son, and she knew that God was her Saviour! Is Mary’s Song your song?
Is Mary’s song your song?
Mary was carrying a miraculous baby inside of her. I have friends who were wonderfully able to become parents about 5 years ago as a result of ground-breaking IVF treatment. They’d previously been told there was absolutely no way they could ever have children, and so to have a child was quite a miracle. The pregnancy and the birth were a cause for great rejoicing, and yet the miracle of Jesus being conceived within Mary is not the same as my friends having their baby. Mary was pregnant because God had wrapped himself up in human flesh and God had chosen Mary to be His earthly mother. An unrepeatable miracle!
Mary was carrying something which was to be the cause of great joy in others; and it didn’t take long for her unborn baby to inspire joy and worship.
If you had just been visited by an angel; if you had just been told you would become pregnant with God’s Son (1:32); if you weren’t quite sure how to explain your pregnancy to your partner; I wonder who you would confide in. Well, the angel had told Mary that her cousin Elizabeth was amazingly pregnant in her old age (1:36), and so (1:39) Mary hurried off to see Elizabeth; and for three months the cousins became ante-natal partners! No doubt they talked about the nitty-gritty of pregnancy and childbirth, but it’s their initial conversation and Mary’s Song of Praise that I would like us to focus upon for a few minutes; and as we do so, could I ask you this question: Is Mary’s song your song?
In the Bible Jesus is sometimes referred to as the ‘Word’. In John’s Gospel we read that “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning” (John 1:1-2).
John continues by saying that “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14).
[Saint] Mary was literally carrying the Word of God inside her; and her cousin Elizabeth was filled with joy when she encountered God in this way. Elizabeth was in the presence of the unborn Jesus and two things happened:
1. Elizabeth’s own unborn baby (John the baptiser) leapt in her womb. (1:41)
2. Elizabeth herself was filled with God’s Holy Spirit and she began to say things in a loud voice concerning Mary, concerning the blessed child Mary would bear, and concerning Mary’s faith in God’s promise.
It seems to me that the prelude or the prologue to Mary’s song is her willingness to be an instrument in the hands of God. Mary’s attitude throughout her pregnancy was this: “I am the Lord’s servant” (1:38).
It seems that Mary’s cousin Elizabeth was really not very ‘Anglican’ at all! In a loud voice Elizabeth puts Mary’s attitude and Mary’s humble willingness into words: “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!”
Is Mary’s Song your song?
(Psalm 139) When God formed you in your Mother’s womb (v13) He knew everything about you (v15) and He knows all about you now (v1-4). God made you. He loves you; and he has a perfect plan for you just as He had a perfect plan for Mary. We have the gift of freewill to decide whether or not to follow God’s plans, but nevertheless God has a perfect plan for you. The only question is whether or not we are willing to use our freewill to decide to follow God’s plans and purposes for our lives, for our communities, and for our world.
Mary was willing! Is Mary’s Song your song?
After Elizabeth shouted her words of wonder and praise in the direction of Mary and the not yet born Jesus, it was then Mary’s turn.
Mary’s words have become famous. The Latin expression for Mary’s ‘Song’ is ‘Magnificat’ and it is quite likely that Mary passed on these words of praise and that they were used as a hymn or song in the early Church. We can be quite sure that Luke spent time with Mary as he put together his account of the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus; and these wonderful words of praise stayed with Mary throughout her life; through the wonder of the birth of Jesus, beyond the anguish of the crucifixion of Jesus and on into the life of the early Church where Mary was a member of the first worshipping community in Jerusalem (Acts 1:14). Yes, Mary was indeed blessed among women (1:49) but God’s blessings do not mean an easy life free of stress or grief! The blessing of being Jesus’ mother included the cross.
Mary was willing to follow God’s wonderful plans. Her trust in God led her to witness the death of her Son and the resurrection of her Son. The blessings of her faith in God took in the whole range of human emotions.