Praise is the song of a grateful heart. As we step from a weekend of Thanksgiving into the season of remembering Christ’s birth, let’s listen to a song of grateful praise from a woman’s heart.
When she’s introduced we know that she’s living in the excitement of her engagement, anticipating her wedding. We find out she is “highly favored” and the Lord is with her. The next adjective is where I really start to relate: she was “greatly troubled,” from the same root word that gives us “perturbed.” After all, AN ANGEL WAS TALKING TO HER!!! Truly divine.
Following the girl’s confusion came a question (v.34) and then action (vv. 39-40). She wanted to know, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” After her question she acted on her belief and trust.
Through the angel, God first made a declaration (vv.30-33) of what He planned to do and how Mary was involved. When she asked for understanding, He provided an explanation (vv.35-37) of how the miracle would happen. Then He gave confirmation (vv.41-45) of her blessing and conception, when her relative Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and her own baby jumped with joy in her womb.
It was after she poured out her confusion and her question and followed with obedient action that her song pours out of her mouth. She had just been answered with God’s declaration of His plan for her, His explanation of the miracle, and His confirmation of what would’ve scared the socks off of any young unwed, engaged, pregnant virgin teenager. But Mary was clearly already a lover of God, and her heart overflowed with thanksgiving. Because she KNEW Him, she TRUSTED Him, and she could respond to the extraordinary turn of events with confident gratitude. After all, the angel assured her that “no word from God will ever fail,” (v. 37) and she believed it!
Mary’s Song (Luke 1:46-55)
And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”
Mary gave thanks for Who God is, for what He has done, and even for what He called her to do. Her soul magnified Him, acknowledging Him as the source of blessing, worshiping Him, and affirming her reverence for Him. Her humility resounds, as she recognized her own need for a Savior and her service to the holy, mighty, strong, merciful God. While others may’ve been in the fetal position in the corner, we see a Mary whose heart is bursting with awe and joyful praise in a her song of gratitude. We may want to shout, “You go, girl!” But Mary is shouting, “You go, God!”
Praise is the song of a grateful heart. Obedience is the action of a grateful heart. Read the whole story from confusion to confirmation to grateful song here. I would encourage you to open your own Bible to Luke 1:26-56, stand up, and read it aloud “Mary style.” We can relate to the young woman of this chapter in many ways, starting with the song of her grateful heart. Does a song of praise fill your heart today?
What would you say about God in your own song of thanksgiving?