“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” Luke 1:46-47
What is Mary saying? What does it mean to magnify the Lord?
In a sermon, John Piper suggested that the word “magnify” can be used in two different senses. It can mean to make something appear greater than it is. My mother does this each time she reaches for her magnifying glass to make words appear greater than they actually are on the page.
Another meaning of the word is to make something that seems small appear as big as it really is. When we look through the lens of a telescope it is for the purpose of making some barely visible pinpoint become more of what it really is. Through a telescope, pinpoints of light in the sky suddenly appear with substance — they are no longer lights but large planets with shape and contours clearly visible. Features and details that were previously unseen explode with brilliance and glory through the powerful lens.
Mary knew that she was not being called to be a microscope for God but a telescope! As she pondered God – His ways, His strength, His plan, His timing, His willingness to use a humble girl—His greatness became clearer and clearer in her own heart. He became for her more of what He truly is! With God magnified in her life–fear, doubt, and shame were minimized.
That experience is available to us as well. When God is magnified in our hearts, the things that are truly small stop appearing larger than they really are. Let’s put away our magnifying glasses and stop looking at small things. There is a God of enormous proportion ruling the universe—One that is exponentially magnificent. As we see Him for what He really is, we will say with the psalmist, “Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together!”
Great and Glorious God, give us eyes to see you as you really are—exalted above all things. Forgive us for seeing you as small and our problems and selves as great. Have mercy and give us clear sight that spills over in great rejoicing and praise to your name forever more. AMEN