Today’s Reading: Luke 1:39-55
Daily Lectionary: 2 Samuel 5:1-25; 1 Corinthians 8:1-13
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior” (Luke 1:46)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Yesterday we considered what it means to magnify the Lord and today we see the best known example of it. When Mary, the Mother of our Lord, met with Elizabeth, her cousin, and they shared with each other what God was doing for them, Mary’s praise erupted. In words we all know and have probably sung many times, she said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. . .”
Today is the feast of St. Mary, Mother of our Lord. It may strike some as strange that Lutherans would acknowledge a festival to the Virgin Mother, Isn’t devotion to Mary more of a Roman Catholic thing? They even address prayers to Mary using some of the words of this passage: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”
The fact is, Roman Catholics over-emphasize Mary. They have made too big a deal of her role in the salvation of man. Sadly, she has become for some a distraction and an idol. This has resulted in many Protestants going too far in the other direction, so that they would never want to recognize a festival for St. Mary.
When God sent His Son to take on human flesh and save mankind, He chose this woman to bear and raise Him. We also know that Mary was a devout follower of Jesus. Unlike so many disciples, she did not abandon Jesus when He was crucified, but she stayed until the end (John 19:26-27). She also was among the first believers after His resurrection (Acts 1:14).
For all Mary’s faithfulness and the way God used her in His plan of salvation, we should remember her and honor her. And the way to do that best, is not by praying to her–God forbid! She herself would not want any such thing. However, we can join her in her praises of God and we often do whenever we sing her song.
In the Magnificat, we join with Mary in praising God, and rejoicing in “my Savior.” It is not a song about Mary, but it is about our gracious God who lifts up the humble and has mercy on those who fear Him in every generation. It is about a God who keeps His promises and fulfills His Word. It is a song we can join in singing to make great the praise of our God. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Remember, Lord of life and grace, How once, to save our fallen race, You put our human vesture on And came to us as Mary’s son. Alleluia! (“O Savior of Our Fallen Race” LSB 403, st.3)
Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Duane Bamsch