My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour
You have to marvel at the way in which Mary, the mother of Jesus, responded to the message God brought to her telling her that she would be the mother of the long-awaited Messiah. Yet she would have to go through misunderstanding, and the terrible trauma of seeing her first-born son savagely beaten and then crucified — a terrible death. But that was all in the future. Some months before the birth of Jesus she visited her relative Elizabeth, and she sang these words at the top of the page, recorded in Luke 1:46, in humble delight at God's goodness for his people in sending a Saviour for her and for them.
As we look forward to Christmas Day, we too should remember the event of Jesus' birth with humble thankfulness to God and remember among all the joy and thankfulness there is the tinge of sadness that Jesus Christ, the Holy Child from heaven, had to suffer so much in his time on earth — all because of our sin and the world's brokenness. Charles Wesley wrote:
"Come, o long expected Jesus,
born to set your people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
Christ in whom our rest shall be."
May we all be able to rejoice because the long expected Jesus has come, so that as we celebrate Christmas together we can praise and thank God for such an amazing message that set Mary singing and all the world-wide church joining in her song.
May this last sleep before Christmas be a peaceful one!