In today's Gospel is Mary's Magnificat. Here are three questions about it...
Faith sings prayers--the Lord's Prayer, Kyrie, and Nunc Dimittis.
- What is it? "Magnificat" means "magnifies," praise to God. Mary sees both the personal (at the beginning) and the bigger (at the end) picture. In the text is a confession of who God is and a reflection of a life steeped in Scripture--she borrows from several Psalms.
- Why does Mary give it to us? God was gracious to her. He broke into her life of anticipating the Messiah--she would bear the Christ! Also miraculously, her cousin would bear the Christ's prophet! During the visit, John recognized God incarnate, and Elizabeth praised God for His gifts.
- What do we do with it? We meditate as Mary did. We sing it. Why? Because faith responds to God with song. Paul tells us to sing the Word; God is so gracious to us that sometimes we cannot sing for tears. Singing is double prayer--with our minds and voices we praise God! Let us therefore use song to tell, teach, and rejoice in what He has done for us, for all.
Faith sings comfort--"Be still, my soul, the Lord is on your side."
Faith sings praise--Magnificat, LSB 941 (a well-known versification of the Te Deum; the linked video features a friend of mine who is now in seminary).
Faith sings to teach--see the depths of the faith set to rhyme in LSB 555!
Faith sings to defy Satan--"A Mighty Fortress" and the Baptismal liturgy.
May we sing this Christmas not for ourselves, but for our Savior. Soli Deo gloria.