November 17, 2023

By: Michele Laccabue

“And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.’”  
Luke 1:46-47 (ESV)

Soon after Mary became pregnant with Jesus, she sang a beautiful song of praise that is recorded in Luke’s gospel (Luke 1:46-55). Mary could not contain her joy and gratitude. “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior”.

Tis the season. Thanksgiving and Christmas are on our minds. The hustle and bustle has begun. Calendar countdowns are ticking. Is this a season of bliss and abundant joy for you? Or is it a time that rings in dread or sorrow? Or maybe, you are like me, a combination of the two. I am guilty of allowing growing to-do lists and unrealistic expectations to bog me down. If I am not careful, worldly desires try to steal my joy. And my soul and spirit are less than magnificent in expressing my gratitude for the God I love. 

How can I “magnify Him with thanksgiving”? (Psalm 69:30)

How can I give Him the adoration He deserves?

Ann Voskamp’s book, “One Thousand Gifts” challenges us to write down 1000 blessings, 1000 gifts that God has already given. There is power in writing on paper what we are thankful for. It unwraps God’s gift of love and we can’t help but smile. Every day, we experience many blessings, big and small. Are we slowing down to notice them? The laughter of our children, the cardinal on the windowsill, the beauty of clouds moving overhead, the twinkle of a lighted tree, the unexpected call from a friend, and so on…

Magnifying our gratitude moves us towards encountering God’s presence and experiencing a filling of hope and joy that can only come from Him.

Heavenly Father, we thank you for loving us so much that you sent your one and only Son to live with us, to save us, to die for us. Because of Him, we can see the world with eyes like you, we can experience love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in every situation. Our hearts are full of gratitude. We are thankful for every beautiful gift in this life. We praise you for who you are and who you have created us to be. We see You in the sunset, in the singing of birds, in the sway of the trees, in the majesty of the mountains, and so much more. LORD, we raise a hallelujah every time we gather to share a meal, to exchange gifts, and worship in your house. We praise You always - even when times are tough and life doesn’t feel so good. We thank you for always being near, always ready to listen, and always working all things out for good. We thank you for everything! We love you LORD. We magnify your name. Amen.

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