Rejoicing in Hope
By Lauren Barkley
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
In the previous verses, the angel Gabriel told Mary the good news that she would be the mother of our king Jesus – that she would be a key player in God’s plan to save his people from their sins. She then visited her relative Elizabeth who affirmed this good news when her unborn baby leapt for joy in her womb.
When Mary pondered these things, her response was this beautiful song of praise to God. She begins by saying that her soul magnifies the Lord. What does it mean to magnify? My good friend Google gives the following two definitions: 1. to make (something) appear larger than it is, especially with a lens or microscope; 2. to extol; glorify. I favor the second definition because we cannot make God appear larger than he already is (especially not with a lens or microscope). He is infinitely greater than our minds could ever fathom. However, we can allow God to consume more of our heart and mind as we glorify him and rejoice in all the things that he has done. We can also make his name great to the world around us as we love our neighbors and share the good news.
In her song, Mary praised God for the following: looking on her humble estate, what He had done for her, His holy name, His mercy, His strength, bringing low the proud and mighty, filling the hungry with good things, helping His servant Israel, and remembering the mercy that He promised to Abraham and his offspring by sending a savior.
Has your soul ever magnified the Lord? I would encourage you today to sit still and rest in the presence of God. Dwell on his goodness and his character. Think of all the things that he has done for you – starting with sending His only son Jesus into the world so that we might become children of God. Then rejoice in the hope that we have and the promises that have yet to come. One day, we will be with Jesus and our souls will magnify Him for all eternity!
Help me to dwell in your presence today and rejoice in the hope of praising you for all eternity.