Nov30TueNovember 30, 2021
LUKE 1:46-47 (ESV) “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior”
MAGNIFYING THE LORD
Many children love using tools which magnify objects that are either too small or too far away to observe. Magnifying glasses, microscopes and telescopes can be great ways to notice details which our human eyes cannot easily detect.
Now, consider Mary’s words in Luke 1. The Holy Spirit was probably not leading Mary to ‘magnify’ (or make God appear bigger) as if He is too small or too distant to observe. The Scriptures tell us plainly that the attributes of the Lord Most High are always visible. “The heavens declare the glory of God” (Ps. 19:1a) and “His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made” (Rom. 1:20a).
For example, His faithful nature is manifest in the unchanging laws of physics. His kindness is manifest in His provision for mammals, birds and insects throughout the change of the seasons. His standard for holiness is manifest in the purity of light, the cleanliness of snow and even within our ‘inner awareness’ of right and wrong. In this sense, God is universally magnified!
Therefore, every person has been given a choice to either seek or reject the Creator. There is no excuse otherwise (Rom. 1:20b).
However, the word ‘magnify’ has another definition. It can also mean ‘to draw attention to.’ When Mary said that she ‘magnified the Lord,’ she was preparing to redirect her gaze away from her present circumstances and towards the gracious power of her God. The words which follow, in verses 47 through 55, seem to indicate that.
This redirection is rather remarkable when we consider what Mary was going through at the time. She was a virgin who was pregnant by the Holy Spirit – news that would have been certainly unbelievable without God revealing it to be true. She was also unmarried, which would have brought shame upon her within her community once the pregnancy began to show. Not to mention the fact that she was a poor, Jewish girl living in a small, undesirable town under Roman occupation. Her present circumstances were very tough! But instead of magnifying her own trials, she directed her attention to the power of the Lord.
When the circumstances of life are challenging, it can be easy to dwell on them. These real-life trials then become the overpowering melody in our minds, the wardrobe of our demeanor and the topic of our conversations. Perhaps you can think of other ways that we tend to ‘magnify’ our trials and let them absorb our time and energy. However, the Holy Spirit reminds us in Luke 1, that we should instead turn our eyes upon the Lord and rejoice in His salvation.
This advent season can be a time for this very thing. To be clear, life’s trials don’t fade away simply because we are focusing on God. Deep valleys are a part of our world. However, the weight of our trials can be covered with a joyful hope when we redirect our gaze upon the attributes of a loving and powerful God. This season, let’s magnify the Lord together and reconsider the salvation which has come to earth!
Lord, help us, as you helped Mary, to magnify Your nature and rejoice in Your love. Amen!