Nov 212016

1051The Canticle of Mary

In anticipation of Thanksgiving this week, followed by the beginning of Advent on November 27, I want to share with you, my friends, a word of God’s grace, comfort and mercy, especially for those in our midst who may be feeling alone, forgotten, neglected, unimportant or otherwise poor in spirit.

The Canticle of Mary (also known as the Magnificat) is a beautiful composition which celebrates and testifies to God’s works of grace, comfort and mercy in a kindred spirit – Mary, the virgin mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


Mary refers to herself as of “humble estate” and “hungry”, which I take to mean a lowly, unimportant, poor, peasant girl who would be despised by the upper crust in Jerusalem.

But, from this Canticle we learn that it is precisely when we are hungry and of humble estate that God does his greatest works in us. Indeed, God did not choose the daughters of Annas or Caiaphas to bear our Messiah, but a no body of from a backwater town who had nothing but faith in her Lord. So, I offer this Canticle for our mutual encouragement and comfort during the coming holiday season. Be patient and trust in the Lord! He loves us, all of us!

“My soul magnifies the Lord,

     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.

     For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

for he who is mighty has done great things for me,

     and holy is his name.

And his mercy is for those who fear him

     from generation to generation.

He has shown strength with his arm;

     he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;

he has brought down the mighty from their thrones

     and exalted those of humble estate;

he has filled the hungry with good things,

     and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has helped his servant Israel,

     in remembrance of his mercy,

as he spoke to our fathers,

     to Abraham and to his offspring forever.” (Luke 1:46-55 ESV)

“For no one can rightly understand God or His Word who has not received such understanding directly from the Holy Spirit. But no one can receive it from the Holy Spirit without experiencing, proving and feeling it. In such experience the Holy Spirit instructs us as in His own school, outside of which naught is learned save empty words and idle fables. When the Holy Virgin, then, experienced what great things God wrought in her, notwithstanding she was so poor, meek, despised, and of low degree, the Holy Spirit taught her this precious knowledge and wisdom, that God is a Lord whose work consists but in this — to exalt them of low degree, to put down the mighty from their seats, in short, to break whatever is whole and make whole whatever is broken.” – Martin Luther

Please feel free to share this message with anyone who you believe may benefit from the life-giving words of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27) Amen.


  4 Responses to “Jean’s Gospel: The Canticle of Mary”

  1. Michael,
    Thank you for sharing this article with your readers. For the benefit of your readers, I wrote this article as a private communication to a number of friends as the result of a local suicide. It was all I could think of. I, like many, wish I could have shared this with the victim before the suicide. Perhaps these words, or the wise words of others here, may be effective to counteract similar feelings of helplessness that may be stirring in the hearts and minds of others.

    To those among us who are not suffering, please be on the look out, especially during this season, for those within your circles of influence who may be showing signs (even the faintest signs) of suffering.


  2. Thank you Jean – we have many within our own church family who are suffering. Encouragement is much needed.

  3. Mary is not spoken of too often in evangelical circles.

    It is refreshing to read what Jean has shared.

    Hope extended can save lives.

  4. Luke’s Magnificat has no equal in any other holy book on the planet, even though I’ve heard various academics claim that it’s just a rehash of other ancient near east myths.
    Its beauty and fetching quality is like no other.
    How do I know it’s true?
    I don’t.
    I don’t have an iron-clad Euclidean style proof of it.
    I simply choose to believe it because it gives this old gentleman comfort and joy.

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