Monday, 15 December 2014

"My soul doth magnify the Lord" {magnifying in the mysteries}

Mary, the mother of Jesus.

A title so known by those who know Christ, that we may hardly think of the deeper sense of this title.


The mother of JESUS.

I was thinking about Mary, as I travelled last night.  I was bemoaning, internally, the horrible driving conditions - rain and spray, in a dark, road-works scattered motorway.

Yet, I was in the comfort of a minibus, surrounded by my children.

I got to thinking about Mary, travelling to Bethlehem, thousands of years ago. We think of her, often, on the donkey, of which there is actually no mention of in the Bible. Heavily pregnant, heading to the town in which her betrothed one was born.

Heavily pregnant.

Not married.

Going to get taxed.

Not three of the most ideal scenarios.

And yet...

She was living the life which God had planned for her.



HE had planned.

In His infinite wisdom, and according to His eternal purposes, He designed that a woman - sinful, ordinary, nothing saintly or divinely superior about her - would bear His son.  She would carry Him around within her body, feeling his every move and wiggle, just like any other mother with any other child.  Not only that, but she would do it with the shame and ignominy of a child borne out of wedlock.  She had an angel announce the mystifying news, of the child she would carry - no such privilege was extended to every other person she came across. Can you imagine seeing a woman, carrying a child under such circumstances, and her trying to explain it to you in terms of an angel's message from GOD? She would have been laughed to scorn.

Can you imagine how YOU would feel, given this news?

I would think it to be confusing, in the extreme.

And yet...

"Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word."

She accepted her lot in life - she took on board God's great plan, that would lead to the bearing of sin upon the body of the One she would carry - she humbly accepted the "cup" that she was given.  She knew God's plan, and accepted it.  No questions. No doubts. No arguments.

"Whatever you have planned, I humbly accept it to be perfect"

THAT'S how she took the news.

She had faith -  she believed that God's plan would be fulfilled in her.

After receiving the news, she rushed off to her cousin, Elizabeth, who was carrying her own gift from God. The words Mary speaks, in response to Elizabeth, are the words of worship that should come from our lips, no matter what God allows in our life.

It's often called "The Magnificat".


Because of the words that come from her lips, before any other.

"My soul doth magnify the Lord"

Her situation, humanly speaking, was a difficult one, yet she chose to magnify, praise, and glorify God, before anything else.  Lifting HIM high, above her circumstances, as the one who does "all things well".

How far from that the refrains of MY heart often are.  Trying situations do not automatically spring to magnifying God - rather, we so often jump to despair and doubt.  That is not the way God wants us to live! He wants us to see HIM in everything - His perfect, leading, guiding, and sustaining presence, no matter the circumstance.

She turns her focus away from the frailty of her own flesh, and the opinions and criticism of those around her, and onto the Lord God, and His blessings abundant.

"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 holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever."

Nothing of self - all of God.

That is how God wants us to live our lives.  We need to keep our focus upon Him.  Taking the circumstances which He has allowed, in His infinite wisdom, and bringing praise and glory to Him through it all.   Although God's ways seem mysterious, rejoicing.

Turning our back on the dissenters, and keeping our eyes firmly upon the one who  planned it all.

His glory.  Our good.

Mary's life didn't get EASIER, humanly speaking.  The bitter sorrow of seeing your son - GOD'S Son - nailed to a cruel cross, is unfathomable.  Yet her faith and trust carried on - she KNEW He was the Saviour.  She knew it was why she had carried Him, and cared for Him.  It was hard, but it was necessary.

Our life is filled with hard, but necessary, things.  God's perfect way is filled with things often NOT of our choosing.  They are mysterious to us, and past finding out, so, so often.

The underpinning principle is the same as that of Mary.

God's ways lead us closer to HIM.

Mary was as physically close to Jesus, as anyone could be.

She carried Him in her womb - she birthed him amongst the filth - she nourished and tenderly cared for Him, as a babe - she provided for His physical needs as He grew from babe, to child, to adult - she followed after Him right to the cross - she formed part of the early Church, as they met together to pray and learn.

Our trials should bring glory to God, and draw us close to His side.

Our soul, no matter how mysterious His ways, ever magnifying God.

1 comment :

  1. Caroline, I love this! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Mary.