By Clifton Angel
According to Luke's account, Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel and informed of the child she would conceive by the Holy Spirit — a miraculous conception which would lead to the virgin birth of the Messiah. Furthermore, she was informed of her cousin Elizabeth conceiving her first child in her old age and being about 6 months along. Mary immediately went to visit
Elizabeth, and upon Mary's entrance, Elizabeth's child (John the baptizer) leaped in her womb, and she was inspired by the Holy Spirit to prophesy of the child within Mary. Mary's response was to immediately sing a song which has sometimes been called "Magnificat" (Read Luke 1:46–55). Her words begin: "My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior" (Luke 1:46–47). In many other words, Mary goes on to praise God essentially for allowing her to be His servant. Do others see and hear the same attitude in us?
The definition of the word translated "magnify" (Greek megaluno) is "to enlarge, boast, grow." Generally, we use a magnifying glass or magnifying lens to make something appear larger so we can view it or read it. Just last month, I was trying to read very small print on an automotive electrical connector, and I could not because I did not have a magnifying glass.
Considering what it means to magnify something or someone, let's ask ourselves some important questions. Are we magnifying Christ in our lives, so that others do not need a magnifying glass to see Him? Are we magnifying Him in our speech? Are we magnifying Him in our social interactions (at work, at play, at school, online)? Are we magnifying Him in our spirits (attitudes)? Are we magnifying Him in our service? Are we magnifying Him in our steps (our continual walk through life)?
Or, is He so small that it would take a spiritual magnifying glass to find Him in us? We WILL magnify something or someone in our lives. Far too often it is ourselves, our selfish ambitions, our careers, our hobbies, our opinions, and the list could continue. May others see and hear the words of Mary in our lives: "My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior" (Luke 1:46–47).
- Clifton Angel preaches for the Coldwater Church of Christ in Coldwater, MS. He may be contacted through that congregation's website: http://www.coldwatercofc.com/