Read Luke 1:39-56
And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name. – Luke 1:46-49
I have a file folder in my desk drawer called “KEEPERS”. It is a collection of cards, letters, notes, and emails I have received over the years of my ministry which have offered words of encouragement, thanks, appreciation, and blessing. I don’t often take it out to read those notes. In fact, I most often end up reading some of those notes when someone sends me a KEEPER. It seems to be a good occasion to recall that God has moved people to express love and encouragement to me when I file away another KEEPER.
It is interesting to me, however, that Mary uses the occasion of God’s blessing to her as an opportunity to offer praise to God, and to express the glory of God, and his grace toward those who are humble.
I’m not inclined toward hubris – at least not in a manner of which I am aware. But any time we look toward ourselves as worthy of praise, or the source of success we walk dangerously close to the line of self-sufficiency. Mary shows us a better way: she magnifies the Lord.
Magnifying the Lord is a matter of putting him in the place of prominence in our field of vision. We cannot make God any bigger than he already is. We cannot make him more powerful or holy than he already is. But we can get so close to him that he blocks out the voices of those who might thwart God’s plans, steal our joy, or destroy our faith.
Those who are truly humble will not seek to take God’s spotlight. They will give God the glory. They will recognize that his work is the only good work that truly matters. They will recognize God’s blessings to them. They may even acknowledge that God has turned the spotlight on them (“…all generations will call me blessed”). But they will seek always to honor God and live under the lasting awareness of his far-reaching grace and love.
Sometimes a KEEPER will reference how I brought the person closer to Christ, or how the love of God became more clear to them through my teaching. That is a high privilege and great honor. I hope to embrace the attitude of Mary in such cases and point people to the true giver of every good and perfect gift: the Mighty One who has done great things, and whose name alone is holy: my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is the true KEEPER!