Praise born out of a grateful heart
Mary responded, “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 ancestors, to Abraham and his children forever.” Luke 1:46-55 Praise is the result that comes from the heart of a person grateful because God came and fulfilled His promise. Once a person places his or her faith in Him and experiences Him intimately can’t help oneself offering their deepest praise. This is what happened to Mary as described from the text. She was overwhelmed by the Lord’s goodness to her. Despite her poverty, God took care of her and placed her life in a state of blessedness. She looked upon God’s actions towards her as a great privilege. In response to God’s goodness, she offered to God one of the most beautiful and insightful songs of praise found in Scripture. In her praise to God, she acknowledged God’s glory and His presence. She did nothing to deserve or earn the status God gave her; it was all by His grace. This was why she was very grateful to God. God created us to praise and worship Him. Praise will be our activity when we are gathered around His throne in heaven. We should never have difficulty thinking of reasons why God deserves our praise. The Lord Jesus Christ is the physical manifestation of the transcendent God, totally separated from human sinfulness yet in His love and mercy reached down to us and offered a relationship that is satisfying and complete. If your life is not filled with praise, it may be that you have lost your appreciation for God’s merciful activity in your life. Never forget to celebrate the coming of Christ. He was born so He can save us from sin and its payment. Never take for granted what it means to have the assurance of eternity with God. Let us not disregard the spiritual relationship we enjoy with other believers because of our faith in Christ alone. As we celebrate the remembrance of His birth, let us take every opportunity to recount the blessings He has poured out upon us and our family. As we contemplate on the boundless love and mercy God has shown us, let us do what Mary did by offering our praise to God. Let us offer our real and personal expression of praise coming from a grateful heart and wonder-filled life that has experienced Immanuel, God with us! Indeed, God came to fulfill His promises.
Have a blessed Christmas!
Noel De Guzman