Luke 1:46–56 (ESV)
Mary’s Song of Praise: The Magnificat
46 And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit
rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all
generations will call me blessed;
49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
53 he has filled the
hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55 as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and
to his offspring forever.”
56 And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.
Elizabeth had just told Mary about the baby
(John) leaping in her womb and how blessed she is to have believed in the fulfillment. Mary responds with what is called the Magnificat. This is called Mary’s Song of Praise and she would have sang or chanted these words out. The excitement
makes songs of praise break out! This song is part of our liturgy in the Vesper service, unfortunately... it’s not real easy to sing. When we have sung it before, I usually have a lot of blank stares looking at me, even from the old time
Lutherans. I have switched it to a different version and everyone sings!
Notice that Mary doesn’t point her finger to herself, but focuses on the Lord. The song is not about Mary, but what
the Lord has done. She begins by saying “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God, my Savior.” Mary says that all generations will call her blessed. She is blessed because she carried Jesus in the womb,
thus she is the Mother of our Lord. The Lord has used Mary to fulfill the coming of the Messiah. She has carried on the promise given to Abraham. The song is quite beautiful. The scriptures say that Mary stayed there for about 3 months
and then she returned home. I pray: Lord, I pray that you not only use me but teach me to carry out your will with a humble heart like Mary’s. You are our Lord and Savior, teach us and help us to tell others what you have done.
We repent of our sins and receive your forgiveness. Amen.