There is no greater praise than the adoration delivered by Mary as she proclaimed what we call the “Magnificat.” Found in Luke 1:46-55, the Magnificat reveals the depth of why Mary declares her praise of God, and it is both personal and historic.

First, the personal.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior,
because He has looked with favor on the humble condition of His slave.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed,
because the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and His name is holy.


Mary is overjoyed with the way God has looked on her (with favor), and with the great things He has done for her.

This is personal. She has no sense of deserving any of it. And above all, she adds His name is holy. Why is that attached to the personal? This is not a purely theological statement – it is the overwhelming blessing of a God who reaches down to where she is and meets her there. She contrasts her own condition – humble slave – with that of His power and greatness.

Then, she turns to the historical grace bestowed by God on her people.

His mercy is from generation to generation
on those who fear Him.
He has done a mighty deed with His arm;
He has scattered the proud
because of the thoughts of their hearts;
He has toppled the mighty from their thrones
and exalted the lowly.
He has satisfied the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped His servant Israel,
mindful of His mercy,
just as He spoke to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his descendants forever. 

God has been working from generation to generation to develop and deliver Israel, toppling some, exalting others. Providing for those who trust in Him, holding off those who don’t. Moving on behalf of His people – mindful of His mercy – because of His promises to them.

He is a God who keeps His word.

And why do we praise Him? What has He done for us? I suspect you are like me. If you sat down to write out all He has done for you, it would take forever.

This Christmas don’t forget to praise God for what He has done and Who He has been. He never changes. He keeps His word. You can trust Him with your tomorrows because of Who He was and what He did yesterday.

Lord, thank you for Who you have been, both in history and in my life. All you have done has been undeserved. Thank you for your great mercy and love given to me – especially in the gift of your Son.

 – Dr. Chris Lohrstorfer

Matt Ayars

President of Wesley Biblical Seminary

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