Yet, Mary exhibits qualities that are worthy of example for each of us 2,000 years later. Luke recorded Mary’s song of praise in Luke 1:46-55. The opening line of the song labeled centuries ago as the Magnificat (Latin: My soul magnifies) is what I would like to look at today: Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord…”
The setting for Mary’s praise song is her visit to another pregnant woman whose story is much different. Elizabeth, was likely a senior citizen, at least by the standards of that culture—and she was well into her pregnancy which had broken the barrenness she had suffered her entire life before finally becoming pregnant. Mary, on the other hand, was a very young lady and had just conceived by the Holy Spirit while remaining a virgin. The only thing they had in common before becoming pregnant was being part of the same family—as cousins.
Mary thought the meeting was important though, because she undertook a perilous journey of almost 100 miles through very rough terrain to visit her old cousin. Now, they had something more in common than being cousins or even being pregnant. This was a God thing for both of them. They were both expecting children of promise. Elizabeth would eventually give birth to John the Baptist—the one Scriptures predicted would prepare the people for the coming of Messiah. Mary would eventually give birth to Jesus-the Messiah.
Luke gives the account of Elizabeth, or should I say John the Baptist in her womb, being the very first to recognize the Messiah. Luke tells us that when Mary greeted Elizabeth, the baby in her womb leaped inside her and that Elizabeth gave a spontaneous utterance of blessing because she was so full of the Holy Spirit. Then, in verse 43 Elizabeth recognizes the Lord as well and calls him such. This was pure, unbridled joy from women that shared a special bond.
But John and Elizabeth were not the only ones filled with joy at the prospect of the Messiah inside Mary’s body. Mary rejoiced by breaking into song. Some scholars suggest that the teenager Mary could not have possibly come up with a masterpiece like the Magnificat. This leaves no room for the Spirit’s inspiration however. This was a song that came from Mary’s heart—her “soul” magnified the Lord. This is the Spirit’s work through all individuals that make room for Jesus in their lives—their souls magnify the Lord through the inspiration of the Spirit.
There is a lesson in Mary’s worship. In her magnification of the Lord, she talks about Him. She mentions herself, but does not dwell on herself. She is smitten with the wonderful works of God and His goodness. As she worships in this poem/song, she mentions God’s holiness, might, great works, mercy, strength, provision of good and justice—by scattering the proud and raising up the humble. This is the worship we should enter. Instead of only coming to the Lord today in prayer with a list of thing we thing we need, I want to join in Mary’s song and magnify YHWH just for being I Am.