46 And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. 50 His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. 51 He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. 52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; 53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, 55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.” 56 And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
I have always been impressed by Mary’s strength and gratitude here. She’s just received this terrifying, life-changing news, and she sings a song of praise and thanks to the Lord. It’s this incredible show of faith in a time of great uncertainty and change. In our lives, we often receive news that leaves us feeling afraid or doubtful, and I know I hardly ever feel like singing God’s praises in those moments. None of us can imagine exactly what Mary is going through in this moment, but that is not the point here, nor is it to say that we should ignore our doubts and our troubles in the name of God. Instead, in this Advent season, I encourage you to reflect on the ways that you choose to glorify God’s name, both in moments of incredible joy and in those of sorrow. We may not always want to sing praises to God, but there is surely space for us to feel his mercy and his blessing.
Lord, in this season of Advent, help us to find you in the places where we are scared or doubtful. Remind us that you are with us in our fear and our weakness and show us how to glorify you even then. In your name we pray, amen.
Reese Torstrick, Senior at Duke University