Begin, My Tongue, Some Heavenly Theme

And Mary said:

“My soul glorifies the Lord
 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
    of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
     for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
    holy is his name.
 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
    from generation to generation.
 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
    he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
    but has lifted up the humble.
 He has filled the hungry with good things
    but has sent the rich away empty.
 He has helped his servant Israel,
    remembering to be merciful
 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
    just as he promised our ancestors.”

Luke 1: 46-55

Mary’s song is so beautiful! She praises God from the depths of her being because He has done great things for her! She recognizes that God is sovereign and that He is the One that saves! Mary models obedience, belief, humility, and submission.

In her song, Mary highlights attributes of God. She notes God’s power – his mighty deeds – delivered by His arm! We know God is spirit, He doesn’t have body parts. Anthropomorphism is a literary device that helps us visualize the work of God. The arm of God is used throughout the Law and Prophets illustrating God’s deliverance, His saving power.

  • You saw with your own eyes the great trials, the signs and wonders, the mighty hand and outstretched arm, with which the Lord your God brought you out. The Lord your God will do the same to all the peoples you now fear. Deuteronomy 7:19
  • But the Lord, who brought you up out of Egypt with mighty power and outstretched arm, is the one you must worship. 2 Kings 17:36
  • With my great power and outstretched arm I made the earth and its people and the animals that are on it, and I give it to anyone I please. Jeremiah 27:5

In what ways have you seen the mighty hand and outstretched arm of God
work on your behalf?

Quote from the NIV Application Bible Notes

Mary also sings about God’s mercy. We see the grand reversal here – He brings down rulers and sends the rich away empty. Instead, God lifts up the humble, fills the hungry – God is merciful to the poor and marginalized. Although He is transcendent, he is also immanent – fully involved with His people. We experience His compassion and mercy. God is faithful to His name and to His promises.

If we know God and his grace, we can echo Mary’s song!

It’s the fourth Sunday of Advent!
Light the Candle of Love, God’s love expressed in mercy!

Begin, my tongue, some heavenly theme
and speak some boundless thing,
the mighty works or mightier name,
of our eternal king.

Tell of his wondrous faithfulness,
and sound his power abroad;
sing the sweet promise of his grace
and our fulfilling God.

His very word of grace is strong
as that which built the skies;
the voice that rolls the stars along
speaks all the promises.

He said, “Let wide the heaven be spread,’
and heaven was stretched abroad;
‘Abram, I’ll be your God,’ he said
and he was Abram’s God.

O might I hear your heavenly tongue
but whisper, ‘You are mine’;
those gentle words should raise my song
to notes almost divine.

How would my leaping heart rejoice,
and think my heaven secure!
I trust the all-creating voice,
and faith desires no more.

Isaac Watts, 1674-1748

As you pray, thank God for His outstretched arm on your behalf! Thank Him specifically for salvation! Join me in prayer today from Isaiah 33:2 – “O Lord, be gracious to us; we wait for you. Be our arm every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble!”

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