In Matthew, the Christmas story starts with Joseph and his obedience to the Lord. Luke begins with Mary. After the shock of an angel visiting her, his confusing message of giving birth to the Son of God, and a drastically different future, most likely full of shame, Mary chooses to worship. Luke 1:46-55 records her praises to the Lord while she was at the house of her cousin, Elizabeth. “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God, my savior…” (Luke 1:46-47). I doubt that those would have been the words I would have chosen had I been in Mary’s place. I probably would have done anything but worship.
Mary is not the only one to choose worship over fear and anger; the Bible recounts many stories of heartbreakingly beautiful stories of worship. Job chose to hold fast to His faith and praise God even though he lost everything. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego worshiped even though the act was punishable by being thrown in a furnace. Daniel worshiped at the threat of being thrown into a lion’s den. Paul and Silas sang to the Lord even when in prison. And even Christians in more recent history have proved to be excellent example of faith in times of difficulty. Horatio Spafford is one such example. He survived a city-wide fire only to lose all of his daughters when their Europe-bound ship sank. And yet, despite so much tragedy, he penned the famous hymn, “It Is Well With My Soul.”
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