Prepared for God with Thankfulness
The second thing I think we can learn from The Magnificat is that we are most prepared for Christ when we are thankful. You can hardly read this passage without hearing the tones of thankfulness that seem to permeate Mary’s words:
He who is mighty has done great things for me… He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy. (Luke 1:49,51-54)
Thankfulness is difficult for us. But I heard of one little boy got real creative. He said that he was thankful that he had to have glasses. When asked why he said, “They keep the boys from hitting me and the girls from kissing me.”1
I wonder why we are not more thankful? We don’t need to start with God to make this point -we can start with each other first. When was the last time we thanked someone for something? And I’m not talking about the obligatory “Thank You” we mutter as we zoom out of the Drive-Thru at Chick-Fil-A. When was the last time, husbands, you thanked your wife for all they do? When was the last time, wives, that you thanked your husband for his contributions to your life? Those of you who are single, have you thanked your friends or your family for being there for walking with you in the dailiness of life? Are we genuinely thankful to each other for the lives we share?
If we cannot thank the people around us, whose contributions are tangible and real, how can we have any hope of being thankful for the tangible and especially the intangible things of God?
So what about thanking God? I don’t know about you, but it seems so easy to take God my concerns. But how I often do I neglect to return to him and offer him thanks for what he has done. Mary displays a thankfulness that is both personal and corporate. She says, “He who is mighty has done great things for me.” And she sees how God is working in the world around her; how the proud are humbled, how the hungry are filled, and how God has remembered his promises to Israel. And this is before she has seen the birth of Jesus.
May we prepare for our Lord’s coming with radical thankfulness.