The third in our series on the Songs of Christmas is maybe the most recognizable of them all: Mary’s Magnificat. This is found in Luke 1:46-55 and is the song of praise uttered by the virgin Mary very shortly after arriving at the house of her relative Elizabeth. It is important to see these events in order to answer the question of whether praise is contagious.
Mary is visited by the angel Gabriel bringing her the message that she will conceive Jesus the Messiah via the Holy Spirit. A confirmation of this is the pregnancy of her relative Elizabeth who is miraculously pregnant in her old age. Very quickly, Mary leaves Nazareth and journeys to an unknown town maybe 50 or 60 miles south. When she arrives at the home of Elizabeth we see a succession of praise culminating in this song Mary sings.
The first person to praise the Messiah in this scene is the unborn child who will be John the Baptist. He, the text says, leapt in his mother’s womb when the greeting happened. This is the first prophetic work of John the Baptist and the first praise given to the coming Messiah since His conception.
Immediately after this Elizabeth opens into her own song of praise showing her gratitude and humility that the mother of her Lord would come to her own home. Elizabeth is around six months along in her own pregnancy when she is filled with the Holy Spirit in this scene and joins with the unborn baby John in praise.
Third to join the chorus is Mary herself. After the visit by the angel, the long journey south, and now the greeting at Elizabeth’s door, Mary praises God for who He is and what He is doing. She recognizes His provision for her and her people, Israel. She also realizes, like Elizabeth, that this is the fulfillment of the covenants. Those God made long before to the likes of Abraham, David, and Moses.
This chain of events begs the question as to the atmosphere of praise and whether that is contagious. If you have ever had a worship experience that was connective, emotional, and electrifying you can relate. There is something about the sincere praise from others that causes us to join in. I can only imagine that this is the connectedness of the Holy Spirit, the very spirit of God, inside of His people working through us to bring the much deserved glory to His name. When that happens we cannot help but join in.
May this season be filled with that connectedness in your family and in your heart that draws you into the praise the One for whom every knee will bow and every tongue confess.
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