"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said."
"My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior...
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me – holy is His name."
Are you blessed? If so, what makes you say you are blessed? Is it the talents you have or the success you've attained? Is it the family and friends you are surrounded by? Is it the job you or your spouse have which puts food on the table? Is it the roof over your head or the car you drive? Is it your good health?
If that's how we measure "blessed," what would you say when you suffer loss? Are you still blessed when talents fade and success slips away? Are you still blessed when family splinters or when friends betray? When a job is lost, times are lean, and security uncertain? When the doctor delivers grim news?
In those times you may feel anything but blessed. But look to Jesus and know that you are immeasurably blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for you!
Consider Mary. She said, "From now on all generations will call me blessed." How blessed do you think she felt when her husband-to-be was ready to divorce her when he first learned that she was with child through the Holy Spirit? (Matthew 1:19) How blessed do you think she felt when a prophet of the Lord called her precious baby "a sign that will be spoken against," adding, "a sword will pierce your own soul too"? (Luke 2:34,35) How blessed do you think she felt when she soon started to see this come to fruition, when murderous King Herod sought to kill her child? (Matthew 2:13) How blessed do you think she felt when people she surely knew sought to throw her son off of a cliff when He claimed to be the Promised One of God? (Luke 4:14-30) How blessed do you think she felt when the family felt Jesus was out of His mind and went to take charge of Him? (Mark 3:20,21) How blessed do you think she felt as she tried to process her son's words to a group of His followers, "[These] are my mother and my brothers"? (Mark 3:31-35) How blessed do you think she felt as the whispers grew and it became clearer and clearer that her son was a man marked for death by the religious authorities? (John 7:25) And how blessed do you think she felt when she stood near the cross of her son as he suffered an innocent, agonized, cursed death? (John 19:25-30)
Surely she struggled with all of these things and more. And yet we call her blessed. Why? Because God, in pure gracious favor, chose Mary - someone just like you and me - to bear the One who would take our place under God's wrath as the sacrifice for our sins. We also call her blessed because she recognized her son as her Savior. And we too share in her confession of faith: "My spirit rejoices in God my Savior...for the Mighty One has done great things for me." Yes, you too can say, "the Mighty One has done great things for me," for the One born of Mary is your Savior; you too are blessed!
So for the many times in life when you may not feel blessed, take Mary's confession of faith upon your lips as your own, and know that you are indeed blessed with forgiveness and salvation in the name of Jesus.
See how the blessings of Christmas extend throughout the year to fill your everyday life!
Follow "The ABC's of Christmas" series:
INTRO, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W
Questions or Comments? CLICK HERE TO CONTACT DANIEL.
Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
Daniel is the Staff Minister at Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, El Paso TX.