Think about Mary’s situation for a second. A young girl, engaged to be married, and pregnant. In our society, being pregnant before marriage causes a lot of raised eyebrows—and perhaps judgment. How much more shame do you think was placed on Mary over 2,000 years ago, especially when people found out that the baby wasn’t even her fiancé’s? A situation this scandalous would not have been kept quiet for long. Soon, everywhere she went, she would be receiving scornful glances and stares.
When I read Mary’s song in Luke, I get the sense that she’s feeling very humble. In one sense, she is humble because of her scandalous situation, and in another sense, that the Lord would choose her to carry His Son into the world! In her song, she points to situations where God has blessed those who are humble and how He keeps His promises to His people. “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.” After the whirlwind of finding out how the Lord will be using her, I almost feel like this is a “pep talk” for herself. Okay, Mary, the Lord has used humble situations in the past to carry out His promises, and now He’s going to use me. God’s got this.
Mary’s song is also full of adoration for God. “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name.” When I was little, my mom directed a Christmas cantata with our church’s choir. One of the songs used these words, and I still get chills whenever I think back to how the soloist portrayed Mary’s song, as a young girl receiving news that she never expected, but rejoicing to God in it. Knowing that God will carry out His promises. Knowing that He is faithful. Knowing that even though she is humble, she is blessed.
For me, I find it easier to relate to Mary when she was feeling humble. I think all of us have experienced a time when we have felt inadequate or lowly—not quite to the extent of Mary’s situation, but enough for us to get a sense of how she possibly felt. But then she magnifies God in her humble situation. That’s where it probably gets harder for us to relate. How often do we pray for God to remove the obstacles and hardships in our lives? We more often ask God, “Why me?” Rather than dwelling in His promises, we wallow in our circumstances.
I’d like to encourage you today to dwell in God’s promises. When you compose your song, let your verses be full of praise and adoration for our God.