I love all the Christmas music. So many wonderful carols have been written over the years. Do you know which one is truly the original?
It’s the Song of Mary, which is called the Magnificat and it is found in Luke 1:46-55.
Mary’s song starts out with these beautiful words in verse 46, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.”
I don’t think we fully understand what magnifying the Lord means. The Old and New Testament words mean essentially the same: to grow, to make great, powerful, or important, promote, praise, increase or enlarge, esteem highly, lift up, exalt, extol, and so on.
The English dictionaries define ‘magnify’ as to increase in actual size, enlarge, exaggerate, amplify, intensify, to extol, praise, glorify, to make seem more important, and so on.
Did you catch those last three? Praise, glorify, to make seem more important.
As the result of our praising God, we enlarge His image and His power, intensifying them more than our circumstances. The disciple John said it most succinctly, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30 NKJV)
I know there are things you praise God for – your family, your friends, your home, your job, but do you thank Him for the things you have that millions of people around the world do not have? Like your haircut, your toothpaste, your nice, hot shower, your mattress, your shoes, your make-up, your razor, your TV (which is questionable!), your car, your cell phone, your computer, your dishes, your washer and dryer, your dishwasher, your refrigerator or even the little bit of food you may have in it?
We are so much more fortunate and blessed than two-thirds of the world, and yet, we whine when our new shoes pinch our feet!
Paul commanded the Ephesians to sing spiritual songs and to make music to the Lord in their hearts. He knew how to do that despite his circumstances.
When the stream of joy dries up and disappears, do as Paul told the Philippians to do as he wrote from a Roman jail, saying, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4b NKJV)
The one rejoicing unlocks the dam built by negative thoughts, words, and circumstances. He waters that dry, rock-bed stream and joy flows once again, for he “will have rivers of living water flowing from his inmost heart.” (John 7:38b Phillips)
The impetus for regaining that joy is not triggered by material things given to the flesh but by praise given from the heart.
The hosts of heaven, praising God, ushered in the birth of Christ, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14 NKJV) If Christ lives within you as your Saviour, do you sing of His glory as Mary did? Do you sing praises to magnify His presence as the angels did? What kind of music does your life make to the Lord?
Being thankful is easy when everything is hunky-dunky, but the praise that emanates from a pain-ravaged heart, which presses on despite sickness or loss, is the sweet-smelling sacrifice of holy incense that rises to the throne room and lingers at the Father’s feet. This is the sweetest praise of all, for it is based on the love of the Lord.
Sing any tune, make up any words, but sing to your Beloved. Sing the praises of the One Who deserves them. It will make a difference in your attitude and in your circumstances.
I know many are having great difficulties this season, but do your best to sing along with Mary and me. May the Lord bless you immensely as you sing the first Christmas carol…
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.”