Christmas is a wonderful time of hope and joy, reflecting on Christ’s birth and salvation coming into the world. We even sing “Joy to the World”…yet I can’t help but wonder about Mary, His mother. We read her story in Luke 1.
She was a young girl of probably no more than 15 or 16 years at most, engaged to Joseph, used to bring forth Jesus, Son of the Highest, because she was highly favored and blessed among women.
I can’t help but think how difficult it must have been for her. Normally, the anticipation and birth of a baby is usually a time of joy and happiness. Would it be possible for her to know joy and embrace His birth knowing that His conception would call her into question?
How easy it would have been for her to say, “Wait, not me! This will be hard. Do you know what you are asking me to do? Isn’t there someone more ‘favored’?”
Instead, she surrenders and trusts in God’s will and plan, answering the angel Gabriel in verse 38, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.”
So, she travels to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, after the angel Gabriel tells her that she, too, will have a child. Their meeting in verses 42-44 tells how Elizabeth greeted her saying, “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.”
And it is at this point that we truly get a glimpse of who this remarkable and yet simple young woman, Mary, is. Her heart and character are revealed as she answers Elisabeth in verses 46-55 with what is called the “Magnificat” or “Mary’s Song.”
And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.
Mary rejoices, magnifying God, being filled with joy, knowing that this baby is not only Savior to the world but her Savior as well. She looks past her present circumstances and sees she is being used in God’s plan bringing redemption, mercy and joy into the world.
Editor’s Note: As Sister Enza illustrates, Mary was asked to do something difficult but great. What joy have you found in difficult things the Lord has asked you to do?
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.