Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Good Christian Men Rejoice"1 (Lyrics)
Luke 1:26-31,35 – Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, "Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you." But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God." (NASB)
One Christmas season, our church's Celebration Choir was introduced to a song entitled, "Mary, Did You Know?" which became very popular in both the spiritual and secular worlds. The words were written by Mark Lowry in 1984 as part of the script for a Christmas play. Several years later, Buddy Greene set the words to music, and the song can be found on YouTube.
While reflecting on the lyrics of this beautiful song, I thought about the interesting concept behind the songwriter's imagination. As if he were a reporter, the author asks Mary how much she knew of God's great plan for her Son's ministry. Listening to his profound questions, I began thinking of what Mary would actually have known. She was undoubtedly aware of Isaiah's prophecy:
Isaiah 7:14 – Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. (NASB)
From what the angel Gabriel explained, Mary knew that her child would be the Son of the Most High and that He would be a King who would reign on the throne of David forever. Moreover, she also knew what the angel of the Lord later told Joseph:
Matthew 1:21 – She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. (NASB)
Mary responds to the blessing that she is given by magnifying God through a great song of praise, which reminds us to beware of worldly riches and power. By reversing the strengths of this world, God exalts the lowly and pulls down the mighty. We are to watch out for anything that makes us feel strong and self-sufficient, and to be vigilant to keep a posture of spiritual dependency.
Like Mary, if we ponder these things in our hearts, we can expect to gain new insights — a fresh look at the gospel and what Christ's coming into the world means to us personally.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank You for the profound blessing of sending Your Son into the world to grant us salvation and to reveal Your plan for our lives. As we celebrate Your birth this Christmas, help us to spend time to praise and glorify You. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.