Mary’s Advent joy was communal. She was excited not only for herself but for her nation as well. And not just because of a chauvinistic pride of race. At the core of the identity of the Israelite nation were the triple promises that God had given to Abraham two millennia earlier, that Abraham’s little family would grow to nation size, that this nation would inhabit the land in which Abraham now roamed as a landless Bedouin sheep tender, and that his descendants would bring the Savior into the world.
Mary was given the insight to see that Israel’s national purpose was about to be fulfilled. Through her, God was about to keep a 2,000-year-old promise: “He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors” (Luke 1:54,55). A faithful core of Jewish believers kept the Word and promises alive even in centuries of spiritual decay, military and economic reversals and collapse, occupations and exiles, and everything else Satan could throw at them. How we Gentiles appreciate and respect them!
And how thrilled we are to see God taking his historic promises so seriously. We depend on his Word, often having to believe what we cannot see: God’s forgiveness of our sins, God’s favor on our daily lives, God’s angels bringing their protection, and God’s resurrection power to reassemble our dead bodies.
With Mary, our souls glorify the Lord.