On the very last page of my Bible, I am slowly developing a list of questions—mostly ones that I come across in my reading, but some which come about through reflecting. I call these ‘heart questions;’ they are ones which I ask to my heart, in a very broad sense, ‘how am I going at this area of life?’ I also use it as a method to remember things I have been struck or convicted by in past reading to ensure I continue to focus on and invest in pursuing Christ and growing in His likeness. They are not questions based on spiritual disciplines (e.g. ‘How have I been going at reading my Bible?’ ‘Am I praying every day?’), but are rather the practical, fruitful outworking of these things; they are an indication of being in a posture allowing the transformation of the Holy Spirit. This might be something along the lines of, “Am I aware of God’s peace in my day to day life?” “Does my life demonstrate to others that I have complete trust in God,” etc. As I was spending time with God recently, I came across another of these questions to add to my list, and thought that putting together such a list could also be helpful for others as a reference to prompt prayer or reflection, or for considering ways to be growing in greater obedience to God. I will compile them into a page (which you can access from the home page), and plan to include a link to the short post I write about them when they are first added to provide a bit more context to the questions.
At our church, we sing a song called ‘He who is Mighty’, which I absolutely love. It has a bridge during the song, which starts with the lyrics, ‘Now my soul magnifies the Lord, I rejoice in the God who saves’. So recently as I was reading the gospel of Luke, when I came to Mary’s Song of Praise, commonly called ‘The Magnificat’, I could not get this song out of my head, as it too starts with,
‘And Mary Said, “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour…” ‘ (Luke 1:46)
Now, had I known that this song came from a Christmas album I may have put the two together a bit quicker than I did, but I had never realised that the praises we sing echo those voiced by a teenage girl, who was engaged, pregnant, and the man she was engaged to was not father to the child. Now whilst in our modern day society having babies before you are married is considered quite normal, it certainly wasn’t for Jewish people 2000 years ago. If this wasn’t bad enough for Mary, she was a virgin, and was told she was going to bear a child by an angel.