Formations Lesson for December 14: The Song of Mary : Tuesday, Nov 25, 2003
November 25 2003 by Jimmy Allen

Formations Lesson for December 14: The Song of Mary : Tuesday, Nov 25, 2003
Tuesday, Nov 25, 2003

Formations Lesson for December 14: The Song of Mary

By Jimmy Allen
Focal passage: Luke 1:46-55

Part of the beauty of scripture is the people we discover. In revealing truth to us, God used people with traits that can be a mirror on our own lives. Some of the traits we see are good. Some aren't.

Most of us can relate to Moses' response to God's call for him to tell Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, to free the Hebrew people from slavery. Moses' response to such a big request was hesitancy and weakness. "The Israelites have not listened to me; how then shall Pharaoh listen to me, poor speaker that I am?" (Ex. 6:12, NRSV).

In essence, Moses was saying to God: "You can't mean me!"

The call for Moses was taken as a burden. Moses, of course, did respond as God called, unlike Jonah who chose to flee from God's call.

Maybe we see ourselves in Moses' response. We question God or try to find an excuse to escape His call because we see it as a burden.

A Response of Gratitude

Luke 1:46-49

If anyone had the right to see God's call on their life as a burden, it was Mary, the mother of Jesus. She bore the physical difficulties of being pregnant and the social problems of pregnancy outside of marriage. Although we don't know much about Mary from scripture, what we do see is a woman who never questioned her ability to be called by God. And we see a woman who never saw that call as a burden. In fact, we see quite the opposite. The Song of Mary shows a woman who received God's call with gratitude.

"My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has looked with favor on the lowliness of His servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is His name" (v. 46-48).

Through her experience, Mary is able to sing the greatness of God. Her words reveal an inner joy for being called by God. Being an instrument of God deserves celebration, not worry.

Greatness of God

Luke 1:50-55

The second part of this hymn reflects a woman who knew scripture - in her case, what we now call the Old Testament. She reviewed how God had worked throughout history by scattering the proud, bringing down the powerful, lifting the lowly and filling the hungry with good things.

In the second part of the hymn, we continue to see a woman with gratitude for God, not only for His work in her life but for His work throughout history.

Grateful for God's Call

On Wednesday evenings, members of our church gather for a time of prayer. We hear prayer requests, then we pray. That's all. But these times together are important to the life of the church. During one of these prayers, a member said, "Thank you God for calling each of us." It was such a simple yet profound praise.

Are we really thankful that we are called? Moses may have showed hesitancy, but Mary showed gratitude. What about Christ's disciples today? Are we grateful God has called us? If so, we need to let our lives show it. If we see our call as a burden, then read the Song of Mary again. Allow God to speak to you through those words.

Let Mary's song become our song. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a theologian and pastor, died in a Nazi prison during World War II where he was held for helping 14 Jews escape Germany to safety in Switzerland. A year into his imprisonment, he wrote a letter expressing gratitude for his life. "It has been an uninterrupted enrichment of experience for which I can only be thankful."

Paul encouraged the church at Thessalonica to be thankful in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.

Do our lives reflect thankfulness for all God has done throughout history and in our own lives? In particular, do our lives reflect gratitude for God becoming like us, teaching us and giving Himself for us on the cross? Jesus said the burden we carry is light. May we be grateful like Mary.
11/25/2003 12:00:00 AM by Jimmy Allen | with 0 comments

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