DayBreaks for 11/07/12 – Let the Chorus Rise

DayBreaks for 11/07/12 – Let the Chorus Rise

And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…
Luke 1:46-47 (NIV)

It is a song of rejoicing, this torrent of words that flows from the heart and lips of Mary after she arrives at the home of her cousin, Elizabeth.

At first glance, one might wonder why Mary would rejoice at all.  She was a pregnant, unwed Jewish girl in a time and place where such a condition brought the type of shame that our culture can’t even imagine.  She had come to stay with Elizabeth for three months during the middle of her pregnancy.  Why?  I don’t really know, but I would imagine that it might have had something to do with being away from her own village where people knew her and would castigate her visually and verbally for being “with child” but unmarried.  At least in Elizabeth’s home, she had walls to protect her from anyone’s prying eyes.  As a stranger, she would probably pass unnoticed by most, or they would assume she was married and just staying with a relative for a while before the birth of the baby.

I know if I’d been in her shoes (or sandals), I would have sought out a place where I could have hidden for a while.  Sure, eventually she would have to return home to the stares and recriminations again, but at least she found some measure of peace for three months.

But what is amazing is the words that escape from her overflowing heart.  Note the reasons she gives for this outpouring of praise:

God has taken notice of her (and not in the way her human neighbors had);

He is holy (and yet He has shown her, a sinful mortal, favor);

He shows mercy (when all around her were judging and throwing thunderbolts in her direction);

He is strong and has done great deeds (though she is weak and unable to defend herself);

He exalts the lowly and humbles the mighty (it was not to Caesar’s wife that the Messiah was entrusted);

He gives the poor good things (what greater gift than to bear the Savior of the world?);

He has helped His people and is merciful toward them (unlike those who turned their backs on Mary);He has made great promises and will keep them (unlike those who should love but turn away when embarrassed by our failures).

As I write this, it is impossible to know the outcomes of the elections.  It is impossible for me to know the trajectory of the next four years.  But this much is clear and in this I find great comfort and peace: all the things for which Mary praised God are still true today and will be true tomorrow and the day after…ad infinitum.

My heart today can sing the same song: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!”  Join the chorus, too, will you?

PRAYER: You are our Lord, our God, our Savior, Redeemer and Friend!  There is nothing for us to fear or dread!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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2 thoughts on “DayBreaks for 11/07/12 – Let the Chorus Rise

  1. “When were Joseph and Mary considered married?”

    Answer: There are three passages of Scripture that pertain specifically to the time of Joseph and Mary’s betrothal, the consummation of their marriage, and the birth of Jesus: Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-56; Luke 2:1-7. Each passage reveals something about their relationship as well as the cultural mores of that time.

    In Bible times, Jewish marriage customs regarding a couple’s engagement were far different and much more stringent than those we are familiar with today, especially in the West. Marriages were arranged by the parents of the bride and groom and often without even consulting the couple to be married. A contract was prepared in which the groom’s parents paid a bride price. Such a contract was immediately deemed binding, with the couple considered married even though the actual ceremony and consummation of the marriage would not occur for as long as a year afterwards. The time between was a sort of testing of fidelity with the couple having little, if any, contact with each other.

    It was during this betrothal period that the angel Gabriel visited Mary and told her of her impending pregnancy. It’s no small wonder that Mary was so inquisitive of the angel; she was still a virgin and would know no man sexually for several months, maybe as long as a year or more (Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:34).

    Joseph soon became aware of Mary’s pregnancy, and this no doubt was cause for consternation on his part: “Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly” (Matthew 1:19). Jewish custom allowed that they be considered as husband and wife, though the marriage had not yet been consummated. The point is being made that Joseph and Mary had experienced no sexual contact with each other, as verse 18 “before they came together” points out. So, Joseph was in a quandary. Jewish law provided that his betrothed, because of her unfaithfulness, could be placed before the elders for judgment and stoned to death. But he was thinking to just put her away quietly without public knowledge. Betrothals or marriage engagements in those ancient times were binding and could only be terminated by an official divorce decree.

    It was then that the angel appeared to Joseph in a dream (Matthew 1:20-25) and explained to him that all this was bringing about the fulfillment of prophecy that a virgin would bear a child who was to be the Savior (Isaiah 7:14), and “he [Joseph] did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.”

    Luke 2:1-7 also confirms the idea that Joseph and Mary, though betrothed, were considered as husband and wife by Jewish customs even though the actual marriage ceremony had not been fully effectuated. So, Joseph and Mary were actually legally married before the birth of Jesus though their marriage was not consummated physically until after His birth.

    Recommended Resource: Jesus: The Greatest Life of All by Charles Swindoll.

  2. Pingback: POSSIBLE « healingtonestoo

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