Mary is visiting her cousin Elizabeth, who is pregnant in her old age with a child who will become John the Baptist. At their meeting the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leaps for joy at the presence of Jesus in Mary’s womb, Elizabeth is then filled with the Holy Spirit and Mary breaks out into a song of praise to God.
This song is known in many churches as ‘The Magnificat’, based on the traditional Latin translation ‘Magnify’, which is translated here as ‘Glorify’.
Bible Reading: Luke 1:46-55
My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me; holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.
Read through these words again, slowly. Try and imagine yourself saying these words to God. You may see yourself in the place of Mary, or you may reflect on your own situation and praise God for all that he has done for you.
In spite of the contrast between God’s glory and your own ‘humble state, God is your Saviour’.
How does that cause your spirit to rejoice?
God’s mercy extends from generation to generation.
How has God blessed you? How can you be a blessing to future generations?
God scatters the proud and raises up the humble.
How might you respond to this in the way you think about your gifts and your possessions?
God’s heart is for the hungry. There are the hungry today, both physically and spiritually.
How might you work with God so that the hungry are filled?
Christians are spiritual descendants of Abraham.
Reflect on some of the promises God has made to his children, and let them lead you to praise: Promises of forgiveness, peace, love, presence, protection, provision, eternal life…
Keep me mindful, Lord, of your many blessings,
and help me to serve you, as I serve others, in faith and in love.
My soul will magnify the Lord