Dec. 13, 2012
Mary said, “With all my heart I glory the Lord! In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my savior.” – Luke 1:46-47
Thanksgiving week, my friend Kristin and I traveled to Argentina. While there, we visited several schools, discovering what life is like in Argentina and sharing some about American life.
At one school, we visited the kindergarten class. We were about two-and-a half hours west of Buenos Aires, the central agricultural area of Argentina. In this region, the weather is always very temperate. It rarely freezes. It was 90 degrees and the end of spring while we were there. In contrast, Kristin explained that our winter is just beginning and where we live, it gets very cold and typically we have lots and lots of snow.
One articulate and quite dramatic boy raised his hand and wanted to interrupt Kristin. During Argentina’s previous winter, his family had traveled to the south of Argentina where there is snow. This was the first time he had seen snow. Very animated, he explained to his classmates how absolutely wonderful snow is. He got to feel it, taste it, and play in it. His explanation crescendoed as he wanted his school friends to know that snow is just plain “magnifico!”
That would be magnificent in English. Even though my Spanish skills are limited, even I understood what a big deal this was to our new little friend.
Elizabeth has just shared with Mary how excited she is for her. Mary is the mother of Elizabeth’s Lord! This is absolutely the best news ever! Mary is so touched by Elizabeth’s response, she breaks out into song. These next several verses in Luke’s Gospel are often called Mary’s Magnificat. So overwhelmed by the events of the past few days, Mary cannot help herself. She simply must glorify God with all of her heart.
Often, we get excited about Christmas. Sometimes, we even get overwhelmed with the preparations and tradition. But do we allow ourselves to be so overcome with the outstanding news that our Lord was born? Do we get so excited about the Messiah’s coming that we just must break out into song? Do we get nearly as excited about this good news as my new little Argentinian friend did about telling his schoolmates how “magnifico” snow is?
My husband Rick has a way of taking my little stories and applying them to our daily lives. When I ask him about his day, his new favorite answer is, “Magnifico!” Even on the challenging and difficult days, may we be amazed at how “magnifico” our Savior’s birth really is.
Lord God – Rather than getting overwhelmed this Advent, help us to pause and see just how “magnifico” this special season is. Help us to find “magnifico” moments multiple times throughout the day. Amen.