God brought about His grand plan of redemption by describing the announcement of the birth of Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah. God did not choose someone of power and standing to be the mother of the Son of God, but instead, a faithful young girl. We don’t know much about Mary’s circumstances, only that she was engaged to be married. This meant she was likely about thirteen years old, and her family had arranged for her to marry a man named Joseph.
Mary became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Mary was a virgin and was not yet married to Joseph. By Jewish law, being pregnant and unmarried meant she should have been stoned. But Mary knew her child’s conception was from God, and she was willing to do what God had asked of her.
Even under such circumstances, God provided special comfort for Mary. Her cousin Elizabeth was unexpectedly pregnant, for she was past the age of childbearing. As a result, both women experienced their miracles personally and together. Elizabeth’s pregnancy was an incredible, personal provision from the Lord for both herself and Mary. God gave Mary a close friend with whom to share her joy, her fear, and everything in between. As God brought about His plan of redemption, He also provided for Mary in exactly the way she needed.
Mary’s hymn of praise is recorded in Luke 1. Even though she didn’t know how people in her community would react when they learned about her pregnancy, Mary knew what God was doing. She would be the mother of the long-awaited Christ, the Messiah, the One who would save His people from their sins. The gift God would give her was far greater than any shame she would experience from her community.
Like Hannah’s prayer in 1 Samuel 2, Mary focused on the deliverance of the Lord, on His holiness and His power. Both praised God for His deliverance of the needy and the poor and how He watches over His people. While Jesus would not destroy earthly kingdoms during His first Advent, He did destroy the power of sin and death. Mary exalted the Lord even as she waited for Him to fulfill all His promises.
Mary’s hymn is an expression of her faith in the sovereign authority and goodness of God. Her faith encourages us to praise God no matter our circumstances because His will and purposes are far greater than anything we can imagine.
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