“He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham, and to his descendants forever.” (Luke 1: 54-56)
As Mary concludes her song of praise, she remembers that she is part of a larger story. Mary does not live as an island to herself, but she is part of a greater narrative of God’s relationship with the people of Israel. Mary recognizes that what God is doing in the present is tied to the past. Her story is intricately tied to the story of a people. God long ago had called Abraham and Sarah to begin a journey with him that would ultimately bring God’s blessing to the entire world. What God was doing now in Mary’s life was part of the same journey. Mary was not beginning from scratch. She had a history that propelled her forward.
In our Christian walk, we too are part of a larger story going all the way back to the first Christians. Those early followers of Jesus who gathered as the church are the foundation upon which our lives are built as individuals as well as a church. Likewise, this foundation is made up of individuals from our most recent history. Every Christian and every church have a family tree that has helped bring them to where they are today.
When we are seeking to discern our future, we must never forget where we’ve come. This doesn’t mean that we must be and do everything just like those who went before us, but it does call us to honor those who lived out their faith before us so we might live out our faith today. We need to remember our foundation in gratitude to God. God has blessed us with generations of saints that came before us. We must never forget their story.