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Mary's magnificent posture

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Luke 1:46-48
Mary said to Elizabeth, “My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. He has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden; and behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. He that is mighty has done to me great things, and holy is his name.”

I’m always magnifying something. Troubles, for instance. My allergies acting up. My wallet lost. My finances in disarray. So many troubles. Woe is me.

To distract myself from the troubles, I magnify my joys. It doesn’t get any better than this. I love you, man. How about those Illini! I can’t wait for the vacation we’re taking this summer. Next summer. Someday.

Is that all there is? Bouncing up and down, up and down like a rubber ball?

As I simplify, there is less to look at. Then my eyes can rest, and my mind too. Tomorrow is the day after today, and today has plenty already to see. The birds have plundered their feeders. The sky is bright today with sunshine. This morning my breathing is clear and strong.

Men and women walk back and forth on the sidewalk in front of our house. There are children running. When I can, I say hello. Every one of them is precious to Jesus. Their spirits show them the way to live.

God’s eyes are on Mary, and they are on me. The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ (Rev 11:15). God magnifies what he magnifies. I can choose to be God’s child, to be a fragment of his universe instead of creating my own. And he notices. His eyes range throughout the earth to strengthen those … (2 Chron 16:9).

Mary might have worried. She might have been afraid. I imagine her knowing what to do when those temptations came. Falling to her knees, she says, “My soul doth magnify the Lord.”

In everything I give thanks, O Lord. You put me to death and give me life, you cast me down and raise me up again. You make me poor and make me rich; you humble me and even exalt me. Thank you for your steady gaze, for knowing me so well, and loving me up instead of turning me down.

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