MARY’S SONG

by Craig Duffy | Dec. 17, 2018

“And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…'”

LUKE 1:46-47 NIV

In Luke 1:46-56, Mary responds in praise as God calls her to be the mother of the Messiah. This is confirmed when she visits her cousin Elizabeth, who has experienced her own miraculous pregnancy. Mary found herself in very uncertain circumstances: a pregnant, unmarried teenage girl who had received a vision from God – who had been silent over 400 years. Who but Elizabeth might even believe such a thing? How was Mary’s pregnancy to be accomplished? What would be the reaction of her betrothed, Joseph? Yet as Mary surrendered to God’s call on her, despite her legitimate concerns, her soul overflowed with praise for God, His redemptive plan, and His promise to use her for His glory.

In a vastly lesser degree, I found myself in an uncertain situation in the spring of 2010. Having done the same work for over 30 years, I found God calling me to change. Not only that, I had been asked to go on a mission trip to Syria later that summer.

Then one August morning, I found myself walking in the hills west of Damascus Syria. We were finishing up our conference where I had spent the preceding week helping teach Biblical recovery principles to young Arab adults, in a bar closed for Ramadan which was adjacent to a Greek Orthodox Church no less. Since it was Ramadan, the streets were deserted as residents slept in during the daytime fast. Reaching the outskirts of town and looking down on the countryside, I was overwhelmed with amazement at how God had taken a simple man from Northwest Arkansas and brought me to a land where the apostle Paul and others had walked and lived. I felt as though I were a drop in a powerful river that stretched back to the time of Christ; I felt a deep sense of belonging and purpose. That morning as I sang praises to our Father, I perhaps experienced a hint of what Mary felt as she burst forth in praise.

After three months with Elizabeth, Mary returned to Nazareth, to Joseph, and to the raised eyebrows and whispered gossip; followed by a long trip to Bethlehem. I have a hunch that Mary often thought of that time of praise as she followed God’s plan. I know the memory of that morning on the Syrian hillside strengthened me in my challenges as I returned to college and eventually came to serve on staff here at Fellowship.

Today’s Reading: Luke 1:46-56 NIV

3 Comments

  1. Darla Beller

    Great! Our focus should always be on the fact that God actually has something in mind for us to do for Him. There’s nothing more amazing than that! To sing out our praise to Him for choosing us is our joy and even natural outpouring of our heart. The road He asks us to travel is likely not an easy one, but instead of responding in fear, when we respond in love, we have strength for our purpose.

    Reply
  2. Robyn

    Thanks, Craig! Very encouraging words this morning.

    Reply
  3. Billye Martin

    Thank you for the great word this morning, Craig. I like your description of being a drop of water in the river of God’s plan. I also believe that knowing your purpose in God’s plan is important and reassuring. It gives me strength to keep doing the next thing.
    Thank you for all your hard work, brother.

    Reply

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Mary’s Song

BY: Craig Duffy | Dec. 17, 2018

“And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…'”

LUKE 1:46-47 NIV

In Luke 1:46-56, Mary responds in praise as God calls her to be the mother of the Messiah. This is confirmed when she visits her cousin Elizabeth, who has experienced her own miraculous pregnancy. Mary found herself in very uncertain circumstances: a pregnant, unmarried teenage girl who had received a vision from God – who had been silent over 400 years. Who but Elizabeth might even believe such a thing? How was Mary’s pregnancy to be accomplished? What would be the reaction of her betrothed, Joseph? Yet as Mary surrendered to God’s call on her, despite her legitimate concerns, her soul overflowed with praise for God, His redemptive plan, and His promise to use her for His glory.

In a vastly lesser degree, I found myself in an uncertain situation in the spring of 2010. Having done the same work for over 30 years, I found God calling me to change. Not only that, I had been asked to go on a mission trip to Syria later that summer.

Then one August morning, I found myself walking in the hills west of Damascus Syria. We were finishing up our conference where I had spent the preceding week helping teach Biblical recovery principles to young Arab adults, in a bar closed for Ramadan which was adjacent to a Greek Orthodox Church no less. Since it was Ramadan, the streets were deserted as residents slept in during the daytime fast. Reaching the outskirts of town and looking down on the countryside, I was overwhelmed with amazement at how God had taken a simple man from Northwest Arkansas and brought me to a land where the apostle Paul and others had walked and lived. I felt as though I were a drop in a powerful river that stretched back to the time of Christ; I felt a deep sense of belonging and purpose. That morning as I sang praises to our Father, I perhaps experienced a hint of what Mary felt as she burst forth in praise. 

After three months with Elizabeth, Mary returned to Nazareth, to Joseph, and to the raised eyebrows and whispered gossip; followed by a long trip to Bethlehem. I have a hunch that Mary often thought of that time of praise as she followed God’s plan. I know the memory of that morning on the Syrian hillside strengthened me in my challenges as I returned to college and eventually came to serve on staff here at Fellowship.

Today’s Reading: Luke 1:46-56 NIV

3 Comments

  1. Darla Beller

    Great! Our focus should always be on the fact that God actually has something in mind for us to do for Him. There’s nothing more amazing than that! To sing out our praise to Him for choosing us is our joy and even natural outpouring of our heart. The road He asks us to travel is likely not an easy one, but instead of responding in fear, when we respond in love, we have strength for our purpose.

    Reply
  2. Robyn

    Thanks, Craig! Very encouraging words this morning.

    Reply
  3. Billye Martin

    Thank you for the great word this morning, Craig. I like your description of being a drop of water in the river of God’s plan. I also believe that knowing your purpose in God’s plan is important and reassuring. It gives me strength to keep doing the next thing.
    Thank you for all your hard work, brother.

    Reply

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

NWA Christmas