|“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my |
spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
Mary spoke the above statement upon learning that God had chosen her to bear the Son of God. This stirring tribute to her Lord, called “The Magnificat,” comes from the Latin root word from which our word “magnify” derives. This same verb appears in the first sentence of Mary’s declaration.
When we use the word “magnify,” we think of making something appear bigger so that we can see it better. At a ballgame, we might watch the game from the stands on a jumbo screen so that we can see facial expressions and the intricate details of each play. In the laboratory, we magnify tiny creatures so that we can see them better with the human eye. In neither case do we actually make the objects bigger. We just make them appear bigger so that our eyes can see them.
What did Mary mean when she said that she “magnified” the Lord? She looked at His character, His might, His blessing, His holiness, His mercy, and His gifts. Then, she spoke of them in such poetic ways and desired to make them bigger so that she and others could see Him better. It was as though she had practiced this art throughout her short life. God had obviously carefully prepared her for this moment.
Psalm 34:3 records David’s desire to give the same kind of glory to God. He wrote:
Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!
When we get together with other Christians and relate what we know of our God, we also magnify Him. We do not make Him any bigger or greater than He’s ever been. But instead, through our expressions of worship, we show others the bigness of our Lord. We allow them to see and understand Him in ways they may have never seen Him before.
During this Advent season, like Mary, we need to consider our great God, and magnify His character in such a way that others can better see Him, heed Him, and know Him for themselves. He is certainly worthy of this exaltation!