What Did Mary Know?
He took notice of His lowly servant girl, and from now all generations will call me blessed.” –Luke 1:48
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you."
(These are some of the lyrics written by Mark Lowry in a Christmas song that has enchanted the world. We must never forget the important role played by Mary in the Nativity story, and learn from her attitude of total surrender and worship.)
From all associated with the birth of Jesus, let us look at Mary, His mother who was closest to Him, and her response to the event, right through. The moment Mary came to know about the immaculate conception of the Lord Jesus Christ, she burst forth into worship. Mary gives the most magnificent psalm of worship (in the Bible) when she conceived Jesus. Known as the Song of Mary, or the Canticle, ‘The Magnificat’ contains praise so glorious that it brings tears to the eyes:
“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed. For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me. He shows mercy from generation to generation to all who fear him. His mighty arm has done tremendous things! He has scattered the proud and haughty ones. He has brought down princes from their thrones and exalted the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands. He has helped his servant Israel and remembered to be merciful. For he made this promise to our ancestor, to Abraham and his children forever.” (Luke 1:47-55 NLTCE)
Let us pay close attention to Mary to learn some significant features of true worship pleases God.
1. The attitude of worship.
Worship is internal, worship is intense…
External shallow worship is distasteful to God. True worship comes from deep down inside and it therefore goes on all the time. What Mary is doing here is not just exalting, but mega exaltation. It is about worship starting and becoming larger and larger. It is the culmination of the spirit, soul, and the body of a person coming together and praising God.
Worship comes up from inside. It bubbles up and bubbles up. Worship is not about coming to church, singing a hymn, hearing a sermon, or giving to God. Those are of course, effects of a worshiping heart, but in themselves they are not worship. Mary’s mind transferred it to her emotions. It is when the soul and the spirit are overwhelmed and expressed through the body.
If you look at the history of Israel, you will find how God despised superficial worship.
God used prophet Amos to both expose and denounce the apostasy (abandonment of religious belief) and the hypocrisy of Israel. You have to worship God from the heart and Mary did that. That’s the worship that honors God. It is internal and it is intense.
Worship is habitual, it is birthed in humility…
Worship must become a constant habit. Mary said: “my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” It is a present continuous tense. Worship is not related to an event or a moment. It goes on and on and on. It’s not that you rejoiced only when you were saved. It is that you started rejoicing then and it never will stop. Fluctuating circumstances do not impact true worship. Circumstances don’t have anything to do with it. It flows on uninterrupted. They will say with Paul, “In everything give thanks and worship God.” Worship never stops no matter what happens because it’s fixed on God who never changes. Christ never changes. His promises never changes. So why should worship rise and fall? If worship happens only on a Sunday morning or only happens around the Christmas season it is not true worship. If you think of worship only when things are going well in your life, that is not true worship. Also, look at Mary’s humility when she got the news of Jesus being conceived in her: “He took notice of His lowly servant girlShe doesn’t have a thought like, “Well, I think He made a pretty good choice.” Or, “He chose me because I am better than other women.” This is unlike many of us who turn even our smallest successes into tall tales.
Mary considered herself nobody socially and culturally. She was simple virgin engaged to a village carpenter. If Mary was exalted above all women, it must have been because she was the lowest.
2. The object of Worship.
Read Luke 1:46,47 again, very closely. Mary’s object of worship is God. All the glory and honor goes to Him. All the worship goes to Him. We must always remember that worship is one-dimensional. We worship God. Never vice versa.
Jesus said in Luke 4:8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.”
Worship is only limited to God: 1 Timothy 1:17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen. The object of worship is the God who saves.
3. The cause of worship
What makes worship happen? What motivates worship?
and from now on all generations will call me blessed. For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me.
From this time on, all generations are going to call me blessed because of what God has done for a sinner. That’s where worship starts. Salvation is what motivates us to worship.
Remember, even though she was the mother of God, Jesus didn’t change her social status. In her whole life she never became some earthly queen. She had the same friends. She even had to be given over to John the apostle to be cared for because she needed someone to take care of her after Jesus left. Her social status never changed.
Mary’s spiritual status changed just like all who ever believed before and after Christ. Her praise comes out of pure gratitude for salvation.
b. Salvation of others.
He shows mercy from generation to generation to all who fear him
Mary is quoting Psalm 103:17. She knows that this Savior is born for everyone. She realizes that the Lord is going to do the same for others and that brings joy to her heart. She was absolutely overwhelmed with what the Lord was doing for her and what the Lord would do for generation after generation. She is praising God for her own salvation and the salvation of others.
For he made this promise to our ancestor, to Abraham and his children forever.”
He has kept His covenant to Abraham and Israel and He kept His covenant with Mary. He will keep His covenant with me. That is why I worship.
What is the call of Christmas? Praise & worship.
No one shows a better way to do that than Mary, the Mother Of God.
by Pastor Shine Thomas
Rev. Shine P. Thomas has been the pastor of City Harvest Assembly of God Church ever since its genesis in 2003. Today the church has services in 6 different languages, and baptisms on a monthly basis. Pastor Shine is married to Glory and they are blessed with two children, Samuel and Grace.