We praise God for who he is: Throughout her song, she weaves in and references God’s character: He is her Savior, he is holy, he is merciful, he is mighty and strong. In our own praises to God, we need to tell of who God is, his character, his goodness and faithfulness. We need to tell of his grace and mercy. On this side of the cross, we see all of these character traits Mary mentions on full display. He is our savior: He saved us through the death of his son on the cross for our sins. He is holy: His holiness requires payment for sin, a payment we could not pay, but Jesus Christ paid it for us. He is merciful: Through Christ, we have not received what we deserve—death for our sins. He is mighty and strong: The grave could not hold our Savior, he conquered sin and death and rose in victory to sit at the right hand of God.
We praise God for what he has done: Mary praises God for two things in this song: what he has done for her and what he has done for Israel. She praises him for his grace to her in seeing her humble estate and gifting her with the promised Messiah. She praises him for remembering his promises to her people and to the promise he made to Abraham when he promised that all the world would be blessed through him. On this side of the cross, we praise God for what he has done in our own lives in choosing us in Christ before the foundation of the world, in bringing us from death to life, in forgiving us of our sins, in giving us the gift of the Spirit, and in working in us to make us more like Christ. We praise him for meeting our daily needs and for keeping and sustaining us. We also praise him for what he is doing in the church, locally and around the world. We praise him for creating the church, for purchasing her with his blood and washing her clean. We praise him for his faithfulness, to fulfill the promise to Abraham by grafting us into the tree by faith.
We learn from Mary’s song to turn our eyes and look upon God in his goodness and faithfulness, whatever the circumstances going on around us, and to sing his praises with awe and wonder. Mary did not yet know exactly how God would use her child to bring salvation. She knew the promises from the Old Testament. She knew he would bring redemption. But she didn’t know the details. On this side of redemptive history, how much more should we rejoice and sing praises to God! How much more should we magnify our Savior for who he is and what he has done!
Mary’s story of hardship mixed with wonder and anticipation is our own story as well. We all live with the hardships and trials of life in a fallen world. But we are not without hope. We have the fulfillment and the fruit of the promise given to Abraham and incarnated in Mary’s womb. We have the gift of Jesus. We have hope forever. We have new life, peace with God, and a Savior who lives and reigns to intercede for us. So, as we spend this Advent season dwelling on the incarnation and gift of Jesus, even as we may struggle with our own personal trials and heartaches, like Mary, let us turn and marvel with wonder at who God is and what he has done for us in Christ.
This article originally appeared here.