Praise and Gratitude

“And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on, all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.”          The Magnificat, also called Canticle of Mary, is the hymn of praise by Mary, the mother of Jesus, found in Luke 1:46–55.  It is named after the first word of its first line in Latin (“Magnificat anima mea Dominum,” or “My soul magnifies the Lord”).  At Mary’s encounter with Elizabeth and in response to her blessings, Mary sings praises to God for what God had done and is doing in her life.  Mary recognizes that God is worthy of her praise.  Mary is grateful for all that God is doing.

         Whenever we are seeking God’s will and direction for our life, as an individual or as the church, we should always begin with praise for what God has already done in our lives.  Our relationship with God tells the story of God’s faithfulness.  As we look back in our lives, we see how God has worked in our lives to bring us to where we are in the present.  There is no present without God’s guiding hand in our past.  Gratitude is our song to God.

         Thus, when we are looking to the future, as Mary was with this unexpected pregnancy, we can trust that the God of yesterday will be faithful in what is to come.  This gives us the hope to step forward in faith, knowing that we are not alone.  Every new day offers us the opportunity to experience God’s gracious work in our lives again.  Each new morning, we can sing the words of the old hymn’s lyrics, “Morning by morning new mercies I see.”  Great is God’s faithfulness.  This is something to sing about.

Prayer:  Thank you, God, for your faithfulness.  I am grateful for all you have done in my past and promise to do in my future.

Published by Dr. Philip W. Turner

Since 1991 I have had the joy of serving as Pastor of Pine Street Baptist Church in the community of Oregon Hill in Richmond, Virginia. The people I have met a long the way have inspired me in my daily ministry. I have truly been blessed.

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