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Joy to the World by Lisa Solomon Shoemaker

An Advent Devotion
The Canticles of Christmas
Week Two: The Magnificat

Sunday, December 10

Luke 1:46˗55

“He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.” (Luke 1:52)

On a cold, cloud-covered day in February1980, Jim and I left Bothwell Regional Hospital in Sedalia with a brand-new baby girl snuggled into a car seat. We had driven away from our house four days earlier as a family of two, but we were exiting the hospital as a family of three. As Jim drove down 16th Street to usher his new family home, I remember looking out the car window and thinking that nobody in town was as happy as I was then. Nobody was as blessed. Nobody had a more beautiful baby.

Now, I need to tell you that in the minds of most Sedalians, there was nothing special about that black Dodge Omni traveling down 16th Street in February. Nor was there anything special about that baby, or Jim, or me. We were just a run-of-the-mill couple who happened to have been delivered of their first child and were now on their way home. But I didn’t see what they saw.

Look at what Mary sees here. 

She is not a queen, not the rich daughter of a mighty landowner, and not a seer of the future. She is part of the “lowly” that God will use to usher in the savior of humankind, yet she knows this. Because of what she knows, God has given her words to express her beautiful, heartfelt joy. In fact, her entire “soul rejoices.” Mary certainly had reason to rejoice; she was chosen, not because of her high status, but because of her obedience that made her special to God.

Like those Sedalians who did not know what precious cargo was in our back seat, those in Mary’s hometown did not know what she knew. That was okay; the reason for her joy was about to come to the world and change everything.

by Lisa Solomon Shoemaker