“…for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is God’s name.” Luke 1:49
The above words were likely sung by Mary, the mother of our Lord. They are not original with Mary. The words come from Hannah’s Song as recorded in 1 Samuel 2:1-10. Mary took the words of Hannah and personalized them to herself.
The words are to echo from our hearts. What has the Mighty One done for you? What has the Mighty One done for our church?
I asked my daughter Rebekah what great things God had done for her. She immediately recalled an event from her childhood. She was on a small motorbike behind my parents’ home, lost control of it, went straight down a steep hill, and crashed directly into the brick wall of the house. I saw the event and thought Rebekah would be severely hurt. Rebekah walked away from the accident with a few scratches. She was wearing a helmet, but in my mind it did not account for all her good fortune. Rebekah then went on to give God credit for getting her a job in the field she loves—caring for small animals. One of our church members owned a pet supply store and helped to influence the hiring of Rebekah. She has been a faithful employee in her position for over a decade now. When Rebekah answered the question she did so immediately, almost automatically. In other words, gratitude to God for “mighty things” were on the tip of her tongue. This is a good way to live—to meditate on the grace of God we have received.
The second part of the verse says that God is holy. When I first thought about this verse, my mind immediately went to the lack of holiness I see in the world. I realized this is not what Mary was singing about. She was not concentrating on the lack of justice in her land because of Roman occupation. She was not saying that Herod was a murderer. She was not saying that there was so much sin in the world that she was not safe in her own home town. Mary was seeing holiness in God. God is set apart from what is common. God is just. God keeps promises. God offers mercy. God lifts up the lowly. God fills the hungry with good things. God forms family.
God calls us to remember the great things the Mighty One has done for us! God calls us to remember that God is holy! God gave us God’s only Son: born of a virgin, crucified, raised from the dead, ascended into heaven. Jesus has revealed the holiness of God. God also gives us the Holy Spirit, the one who makes us holy.