Christmas music. Listening to it may have been the first Christmasy thing you did this season. And that’s appropriate since after the delivery of angelic tidings to Zechariah and Mary, Christmas music starts playing in Luke 1:46 with Mary’s poem of praise. We expect a song from the leading lady of the first Christmas play, but we assume it will be a sweet and soft song, glowing with hope and glistening with happy tears as a first-time mom awaits her divinely given firstborn. But God gives the best presents, and they’re always full of surprises. One Christmas gift He gives us is this song of Mary, and it’s an extravagant gift because in it He gives us Himself.
And Mary said:
My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
because he has looked with favor
on the humble condition of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations
will call me blessed,
because the Mighty One
has done great things for me,
and his name is holy.
His mercy is from generation to generation
on those who fear him.
He has done a mighty deed with his arm;
he has scattered the proud
because of the thoughts of their hearts;
he has toppled the mighty from their thrones
and exalted the lowly.
He has satisfied the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering his mercy
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he spoke to our ancestors.
Mary’s Christmas hymn surprises us because it doesn’t praise God’s infinite might, but how He chooses to exert it: He does great things for lowly people, and He flicks the so-called mighty princes from their pedestals.
Ministry Leader, what insignificant things are you doing this Christmas? Are you “wasting” your talents by ironing your church’s tablecloths for the Christmas brunch or threading what seems like the hundredth strand of lights on the church’s final tree, or crunching through a list of menial activities like a snowplow in a Texas ice storm? The ultra-capable Sovereign of the universe who organizes the timeline of eternity abandoned His royal throne to cast Himself destitute and naked into the arms of an inexperienced Jewish girl. He considered becoming a helpless infant incapable of doing anything but cry to be more important than commanding the host of heaven and all the affairs of man. To save you. To show you the magnificence of His glory. The breathtaking display of that glory in midnight stars, angel choirs, and Texas sunsets can’t hold a Christmas light to the blinding radiance of His glory unveiled in a rotting feeding trough or a blood-stained cross.
So sing* with Mary this Christmas. Rejoice in Jesus’ goodness to the lowly who do lowly things. Watch for Him in the manger and the kitchen sink, the stable and the copy room. God be with you in the little things; He became little to do just that.
*Here are a few songs to add to your Christmas playlist this season that reflect Mary’s happiness in God’s goodness to the lowly:
From Julianna Edman, serving with her husband Kevin, who serves as the associate pastor of youth and discipleship at First Baptist Prosper.