Summary: Exposition of Luke 1:46-56
Who is This Glad Girl and Why is She Singing?
All the Whos down in Who-ville liked Christmas a lot
But the Grinch, who lived just north of Who-ville did not…
So begins the classic tale How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Theodore Geisel, a. k. a. Dr. Seuss. Do you know the story? High above a small town where people joyfully celebrate Christmas lives a creature known as the Grinch. He can’t understand what all this noise and singing and feasting and giving of presents is all about. Even after he sneaks into Who-ville dressed as St. Nick and steals all the presents from the Whos, he is dumbfounded to find that them still singing and celebrating. While the Grinch experiences a sort of conversion Dr. Seuss still leaves the question largely unanswered: why is everybody so happy at Christmas?
Has this question ever crossed your mind? You ever find yourself surrounded by people full of holiday cheer, but you don’t felt much like singing? Everybody around you is smiling and laughing, but you feel like weeping. They’re all so carefree while your mind is full of worry, stress and pain? Maybe you’re on the Grinch’s side: why is everybody else so happy?
When I feel that way, I like to reread the story of a young girl in the Bible who had a lot of reasons to be a Grinch at Christmas. She is a member of the poorest class of her people having no political power or rights. She is young and female in a culture that treats women as little more than property. She’s an unwed mother, which is often an automatic death sentence in her community. Her fiancée is seriously considering calling the marriage off, which could mean she would never find a husband who would have her. Christmas is coming- in fact the very first Christmas- and in spite of all she can be worried and sad about, the Bible tells us in Luke 1:46-56 that she is so happy she is singing a song. Who is this glad girl and why is she singing?
As we look at her song this morning, my prayer is that the song of this young girl named Mary will put a song in your heart too. Let’s pray
Let me suggest 4 ways Mary’s song can set your heart singing this Christmas:
I. BECAUSE GOD MAKES YOU HAPPY. (v 46-47)
What has 4 legs and an arm? A happy pit bull.
What makes you happy? There may be more than a million answers to that question. Some say money can make you happy, that marriage can make you happy, that divorce can make you happy, that a new house/car/boat, can make you happy, that family can make you happy, that religion can make you happy. What or Who would you say makes you happy?
Mary’s song makes it clear the reason she’s singing is because God makes her happy. My soul rejoices in God my Savior
There are a couple of things I notice about the opening verse of Mary’s hymn of happiness.
First of all, I notice that Mary knows God personally. God she says is my Savior. She’ not one of these folks that store up a lot of religious trivia about God in her mind. Her relationship is real and personal.
Second I notice that Mary doesn’t claim to be sinless She knows she is a sinner who needs God as her Savior just as anybody else does. Mary is a special young lady, but she is human and depraved, just as you and I are.
Finally, did you notice how she feels about her relationship with God? Joyful. That word literally means to jump up and down for joy. Think of a child, so happy they literally leap for joy. This is how Mary describes her relationship with God. This young woman sings because God makes her happy.
Who or what could make you that happy? Millions of people think they know the answer to this question, but I fear they are mistaken. Watch “Wheel of Fortune” or “The Price is Right” and you will see people jump for joy over a new car, or a new house or a fabulous vacation for two to Cancun Mexico. Watch the fans and the players scream and shout when their team wins the championship. People experience happiness and joy when they get married, when a baby is born, when they get a Christmas bonus. Its not hard to be happy when things go good.
But Mary’s song was not produced by a deeper joy than this. She was happy even though she didn’t have much money. She sang for joy even when it seemed she was numbered among the losers in life. She found her joy in the Lord and it was a joy that couldn’t be shaken nor taken by anyone or anything else.