Then you will say on that day,
"I will give thanks to You, O LORD;
For although You were angry with me,
Your anger is turned away,
And You comfort me.
Behold, God is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid;
For the LORD GOD is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation."
Therefore you will joyously draw water
From the springs of salvation.
And in that day you will say,
"Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name.
Make known His deeds among the peoples;
Make [them] remember that His name is exalted."
Praise the LORD in song, for He has done excellent things;
Let this be known throughout the earth.
Isaiah 12:1-5 (NASB)
Hymn: "Work For the Day is Coming" Basil Manley
I'm reading a book about the Magnificat, Mary's song of praise for the work God was doing through her, delivered in the presence of her cousin Elizabeth. It's been a decent read in general, but what brought it to mind during today's reading is the chapter devoted to the way Mary worships God in this moment.
Christian worship should be a joyful experience, not a dread duty. The joy of genuine Christian worship spring from an understanding of the nature and disposition of God in relation to man. If you feel that God is merely a stern taskmaster who seldom forgives and is ready to cast you into outer darkness as the slightest provocation, then your approach to him will be in fear and trembling. But if you realize that He is a loving and ever-forgiving Heavenly Father, you will approach Him with praise inspired by faith, and with unspeakable joy in your heart.
Spiros Zodhiates, The Song of the Virgin, pages 25-26
The Magnificat nearly perfectly meets the sort of worship being described by Isaiah above. While Mary does not describe God as angry with her at any point, she does acknowledge her own unworthiness to receive His grace and work in her life and leans on Him for comfort while she looked ahead to what was absolutely going to be a socially trying situation.
I do not think we should revere Mary in any way that exceeds that of others who have put their faith in Christ. She had a special job to do, but that did not make her a higher kind of Christian any more than a career missionary would be to a Christian working as a line cook. If both are serving the same God with the same heart in their own vocations and settings, they are on the same ultimate task. I mention this because I do think that we who do not revere Mary have done a great disservice to her and to ourselves by hardly acknowledging her at all. There are things we can learn from her, just as there are things we can learn from each other; and as we draw close to Christmas, the Magnificat is one very important and relevant example.
I would encourage you to read this passage from Isaiah and see what kind of worship God says will fill the hearts of those who know Him and have seen His great works. Then read the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55) with that framework in mind, and see what this kind of worship looks like. Let us ask ourselves today if our hearts pour out that kind of worship to God; and if not, let us set our hearts on Him and our minds on His great work in our lives.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation