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December 17 – Magnifying the Lord with your soul

“And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.”” – Luke 1:46 

Scripture reading: Luke 1:46-56

Mary’s prayer is often called the “Magnificat”. The title comes from the first word of this prayer in the Latin Vulgate. Our English versions translate the same word as “magnifies”. The Virgin Mary states that her “soul magnifies the Lord” (Luke 1:46). Mary sang this song when she arrived at the home of Elizabeth. By the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth recognizes Mary as the mother of her Lord.

The teenaged Mary responds by magnifying God. She models how worship, as to its inner essence, is the magnification of God and His Christ. To magnify something is to enlarge it or to make it great. You look through a magnifying glass to make something look larger. When God is magnified, He appears larger. The events in Mary’s life are like a magnifying glass that enables her to see something of the greatness of God.

The Virgin Mary has larger and grander thoughts of God than ever before. These grander thoughts also cause her to rejoice: “and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour” (Luke 1:47). The greater her perception of the greatness of God, the greater her joy. Firsthand, she realizes the omnipotence of God: He can cause a virgin to conceive. She also sees the greatness of God’s grace evident in Him choosing her, a youthful and poor girl, to be the mother of the Messiah. She also celebrates the greatness of God’s covenant faithfulness. God has kept His ancient promise to provide the Seed of the Woman as the Saviour.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that you would engage in genuine worship by actively magnifying God’s name. Pray that you would help others to see the magnificence and greatness of the triune God.

Rev. Nathan Brummel is Professor of Systematic Theology and New Testament at Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary, and an associate pastor at Immanuel United Reformed Church in DeMotte, Indiana. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at

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