Reading: Luke 1
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” (NIV).
Mary’s Song, also known as The Magnificat, is not numbered among the Psalms, but in style and substance it is patterned after the Psalms. There are some striking similarities between Mary’s Song and Hannah’s Prayer as recorded in 1 Samuel 2:1-10. Both are songs, or prayers of praise for deliverance.
And what deliverance are they celebrating? Clearly they are celebrating deliverance from oppression. But who or what is the oppressor. The angel that visited Joseph in a dream provides the clearest answer to that question. The angel said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:20b-21, NIV).
The angel makes no mention of the Philistines the oppressors of Hannah’s time, or the Romans the political oppressors of Mary’s era. Instead, this Jesus, which means Savior, will save us from our sins. This is an oppression with a far longer history—a history extending back to Adam and Eve, our first parents.
This Savior will break the curse spoken over Adam, Eve and the serpent.
And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:15).
Through his death and resurrection our Savior has crushed the serpent’s head, as pictured in the artwork above. The One born of a woman—the Christ of Christmas—has brought us deliverance from sin and death.
Response: LORD God, I am thankful for Jesus. I am thankful that in the dark long ago, you devised a plan to send a Savior to this world. Thank you, Jesus, Prince of Peace, for coming to this strife-torn world and saving all who call on your name. Amen.
Your Turn: Can you imagine what Mary might say to Eve if they were to meet? Take time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.
* New International Version, Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica
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