Today's Reading: Luke 1:39-55
And Mary said: "My soul magnifies the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.” (Luke 1:46-47)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. What shall we say about St. Mary? She was not sinless as some suppose. After all, she declares in her song that God is her Savior. Why would she need a Savior if she had no sin?
On the other hand, she is a woman unlike any other woman who has ever lived because she is the mother of God. God Himself took on flesh in her womb. By grace, the Father chose Mary to be the mother of His only begotten Son. From Mary, the Son of God who is true God of one substance with the Father, became man, of the substance of her flesh.
Mary is a picture of the church, for the Spirit overshadowed her and the Word dwelt in her. Just so, the same Spirit, who hovered over the waters of creation and hovered over the womb of Mary, hovers above the waters of the font in which you became a child of God by new birth from above in Holy Baptism.
Mary is also a picture of every believer. For it is by faith that Christ dwells in us. He dwelt bodily in Mary's womb but He dwells in us by faith. And He comes to live in us in the same way He came to live in Mary—by the speaking of God's Word. When Gabriel spoke the Word, the Lord was conceived in the flesh in Mary's womb. When the Word is spoken today into your ears, the Lord lives in you and you in Him.
We give thanks to God for St. Mary first because it was she who was used by the Lord to enter this fallen world—to take on flesh so that He could suffer and die and rise again. We also give thanks for St. Mary since she is an example of faith who responded with her “amen” to the Lord's Word. And we give thanks for Mary that she has taught us to sing her song as well, in which we, too, rejoice in God our Savior and praise the Lord for His raising us from the lowliness of sin to the heights of grace and mercy and salvation. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
We sing with joy of Mary, Whose heart with awe was stirred When, youthful and astonished, She heard the angel's word. Yet she her voice upraises To magnify God's name, As once for our salvation Your mother she became. (LSB 518:22)
Registration for the 2013 Higher Things Conferences, From Above, is now open! Register today at fromabove2013.org.
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org.