“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, even as he said to our fathers.”
Mary is moved in the deepest parts of her being. Mary’s not saying, “Hey, I think this could add value to my life.” She’s not saying, “This might help me be happy, this might help me reach my goals.” She’s not weighing the pros and cons and figuring out the costs and benefits and then making a decision. She’s all in! She’s totally caught up in the gift! And she’s giving herself to it completely.
She also sounds like she’s amazed that it’s happened to her. She’s thinking about God and all his salvation acts of the past and she’s remembering all of God’s promises down through the ages and now — he’s mindful of me! He’s looking out for me! He knows about me! Almost shock that God is blessing and honoring her. And she accepts it. In humility, this humble state. She identifies with the humble and hungry. And she says, “Yes.”
She told the angel right at the start, “I am the Lord’s servant; may it be to me as you have said.” She’s not saying, “I understand everything. It’s super clear to me. I don’t have any doubts or any questions. The plan makes perfect sense and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
What she’s saying is, “I will accept this. I will follow this. I’ll pursue it. It doesn’t all make sense to me and I do have some doubts and some questions. But I’m saying ‘yes’ to God. I belong to him and let’s go with it.”
This is a very important thing. Some people won’t accept the great gift of Jesus unless every part of it makes perfect sense. Rationally, emotionally, logically, personally — it’s all got to totally add up before they’ll commit. But sometimes you can only do what Mary does. Just submit, give in. Despite your fears and reservations, even with your questions and doubts, accept the gift. Be humble. Be hungry like she says in her song.
“The Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.” ~Galatians 3:22
It’s a gift. It’s the only way the life and light of Jesus can be yours.
Here’s some Breaking News: salvation by works doesn’t work. You might believe you can do enough good deeds or live a good enough life to sneak into a back corner of heaven some day. Or you might straight up reject Christianity altogether and think you’ve got enough on the inside to know how to live the way you should. Either way, you’re going to be dogged by fears and insecurities because you’ll never feel like you’re good enough or that you’ve done enough. Or if you do think you’re good enough, you’ll actually start to think you’re better than other people and you’ll be undone by your pride and your disdain for others. Or you’ll be whiplashed back and forth between the two.
Or you can believe in the truth of the Christmas gift, that you are healed and saved by grace alone through faith alone in the holy Son of God alone.
The coming of Jesus is a gift from God. It’s a gracious and loving gift. But it has to be received. You have to say “Yes.”