Call Me Blessed
By: Christina Edmondson
“They all spoke kindly of my dead mother, who had been a slave merely in name, but in nature was noble and womanly.”
46 And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for He has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for He who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is His name.
50 And 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 mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
53 He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich He has sent away empty.
54 He has helped His servant Israel,
in remembrance of His mercy,
55 as He spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
Mary renders a stirring praise in verses 46-55. You can almost hear tambourines and a crescendo of “Amens” as her testimonial and prophetic words build with richness, truthfulness and grace. Here, she contrasts the reality of her “humble estate” with the great honor of what God has done for her and through her. She is rightly shocked by this amazing grace.
As a young oppressed woman, Mary lifts up God’s tremendous work of restorative justice as the seminal expression of His enduring mercy and strength. Can you hear the delight and joy in her words, “He has brought down the mighty from their thrones”? Mary, and women like her, know what happens when the earth’s “mighty” go unchecked and undisciplined. Women and their children are often the first victims of cruel kings, greedy CEOs, and loveless leaders. Ironically, however, at the end she points outside of herself, because salvation is bigger than just “me and mine”; and her prayer concludes by lifting up the entire people of God: “He has helped His servant, Israel.”
This is her jubilant and sobering reaction to the fulfillment of God’s promises to her—a sinnerwho is sinned against by her society—and to those who would be His people. There are so many nuggets of grace in this passage, but as we move through the Advent season in the midst of a name-calling world, verse 48 offers a unique encouragement to us, dear sisters.
Have you ever been called out of your name? Had people assume things about you or tarnish your reputation? Mispronounce or forget your name? Have your own sins and the sins committed against you led to the discrediting of your name?
This is painful and demeaning.
Imagine this Gospel truth: because Christ came, our new and eternal names have honor. We are now named Blessed.
Locker-room talk seeks to discredit and dehumanize women.
Low self-esteem cause us to distort our own God-given identities and value.
Catcallers’ harassing words leave us feeling exposed and on display.
Co-workers and even church members may mispronounce, deny credit to or minimize our names.
But let Mary’s praise remind us that we have new names and new reputations. Mary’s name is associated with honor from now through eternity, and we who carry Christ within us bear this same unearned gift. Remember, this unbelievable mercy is for “those who fear Him.” Like Mary, our foremother in the faith, those of us who trust in Christ alone are given the name Blessed for today and all of eternity. Can you ponder what this must have meant for enslaved African believers who were denied their names and reputations?
The world said "property" but Christ speaks louder and forever more saying:
Co-heir with Christ
Child of the King
Dear Jesus, Your name is great and mighty. Your name is a saving strong tower. You have given me a new name…Redeemed One, Servant of the Most High, Grace Case, Lover of Neighbor, Friend to the Forgotten, and Woman of Honor. My name is Blessed, not because of my works but because of Yours. You have gifted me with a new name, purchased by Your blood. Righteous and soon-returning King, you will hush the mouths of street, corporate, and political harassers. Forgive me for the particular ways that I dishonor this new name. May you make my life to match the name you have given me and may your name be a shelter and comforter for all generations.
Daily Reflection Questions:
Is God's saving grace still amazing to me?
How do I demonstrate hope in a Savior that will heal me from own sins and the sins done to me?
What names matter most to me? The ones given by this world for praise or degradation, or the names won for me by Christ?
In what ways am I seeking to live faithfully with the name Christian?
Song of Meditation and Praise
LaShun Pace I Know I Have Been Changed