Wednesday, December 23, 2015

To Be Blessed

Surrounded by Christmas carols and songs of the new born king, my mind turns to Mary’s song. You can find it in Luke chapter 1, starting in verse 46. “And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.”

Out of Mary’s mouth pours praises and thanks to God. She says, “All generations will call me blessed.” We do call her blessed! We think of the joy of a newborn baby. We think of a young boy sitting at her knee and learning scripture. We think of Mary tucking in Jesus and kissing his forehead good night. And we label her blessed.

Take another look. Pause for a moment and see the predicament that surround Mary when she utters these words. She is unmarried. A baby on the way. She knows this is a special baby, but her community did hear the angel’s voice. Blessed? Is she blessed?

Society doesn’t put much value on a young woman in her situation. God does! She is blessed! D.L. Bock describes it this way, “Mary understands the difference and recognizes the honor given her to have God actively involved in her life. The sense of privilege, lacking any hint of merit, spills over into a waterfall of praise and gratitude—praise that is refreshing for its passion and sense of wonder.”

The blessing is God’s presence. Her song betrays her knowledge of the scriptures as illusions flood her speech. References to Psalm 103, repeating the words of another mother and her prayed for child in 1Samuel and Genesis 30. She knows God’s presence. Mary spent time with God through Bible study, and it shows in her words and her character. Yes, she is blessed by God’s presence.

At this Christmas season we remember the good, the right, the beautiful. Still sometimes there is the messy, the stressful, and the disappointment. But we can sing Mary’s song with her. We know who God is, and it is His presence that blesses us.

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