It’s the 3rd week of Advent and I’m at the point of conviction for how I’ve portrayed and “celebrated” this Holy-occasion for the past 40 years. Advent~ the preparation of heart, soul and mind for the coming Saviour..has been replaced by shopping, baking, decorating and busy-ness. None of it is really wrong, or is it? The thing is, none of that has anything to do with the coming Messiah. None of it adequately honours or defends my faith which I hold dear.
Luke 1:46-55 Mary’s words:
“My soul magnifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”
This passage bears repeating, memorizing and contemplation. Mary spilled out the feelings of her heart . This , after seeing Elizabeth her cousin, pregnant with John the Baptist. This , after the Holy Spirit came upon Elizabeth and she instantly knew that Mary was carrying the Son of the Most High. Elizabeth’s greeting to Mary:
“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord
would fulfill his promises to her!”
And here I am wondering where we went wrong? Where did this incredible moment that Mary had~ the revelation of the Hope of the Nations being carried in her womb~ end with us making rushed trips to a mall; seeking the “perfect gifts” for those we love(and even those we don’t, but feel obligated to buy something for anyways)? How did we get from ”His mercy extends to those who fear Him” to barely acknowledging Him?
If Christmas is about Jesus, why have we made it about trees, Santa and food for ourselves?
A girl, unwed and scared with the weight of the world on her shoulders magnified her Lord even as she carried His Son.
The message of Mary’s Christmas is this:
He has done Great Things
He has performed Mighty Deeds
He has Lifted up the Humble
He has filled the Hungry and
He has done all that He promised.
And our only response to that can be:
“My soul magnifies the Lord , for He has done great things for me.”
This is my prayer…….as I wait for the Lord; as I , in faith, believe that He is working out all things for my good and for His glory~ That I would KNOW HIM, truly know who He is , why He came and that I would be His ambassador this Christmas so that others can know of all that He has done: great, great things.
Will you consider how you can also magnify and glorify the Name of Jesus and all that He has done for you ? When we magnify, we allow HIM to be bigger than us, our dreams, our plans and yes, even our Christmas. Let the light of Jesus shine brighter than all of the lights on your tree and your house. Let the gift of His presence be greater and more fulfilling than ALL of the presents you give or receive this season. May HE be magnified and we be humbled.
*This post didn’t start out to be an endorsement of any artist or product, but that’s how it’s going to end. If you want a truly “Mary Christmas” I suggest Chris Tomlin’s “Glory in the Highest” CD. Not ONE song contained in this richly worded worship album has the words “Christmas” , “presents”, “Santa” or ”Holiday”….and so it should be.
And one more item….if you haven’t seen it ,or don’t own it, The Nativity movie is probably the best portrayal of the passage from Luke. It is scripturally and historically accurate and it is truly amazing to watch.