Quick! You've just been told by an angel that you're going to be the mother of the Messiah. What do you say? How do you respond?

It's been a few days, a few weeks, since that amazing visitation of the angel Gabriel to the unlikely town of Nazareth in Galilee. Now Mary has already undertaken a long arduous journey, and she's with her cousin Elizabeth. And she's greeted Elizabeth, and Elizabeth has greeted her with a song - a remarkable song of faith which foretells so much about the role that Mary will have, and more importantly, draws our attention to the Savior, Jesus Christ.

Well, Mary had had some time to think about what she would say, but still it's remarkable what comes out of her mouth.

As we look at Luke 1:46-56, this is the second of five songs in the first two chapters of Luke. It seems to me that Mary, in her song of praise here, gives us an address, a lecture, on how to live the Christian life. There are things that Mary teaches us by example that are vital and are of importance for the living of the Christian life no matter when and where you happen to live on this planet.

Let's look at these five or six things together in the song right now.

I. The Importance of Scripture in Mary's Life

Mary's song is filled with Scripture. From verse 47 down to verse 55 you will get allusions to Psalm 103, Psalm 22, Psalm 147, Psalm 98, I Samuel 1, but you'll also hear passages like Job 12. This young woman knows her Bible! And when time comes to give expression to this amazing announcement of the angel and to this unique song of her cousin Elizabeth, she does it with Scripture. It just rolls off of her tongue!

Isn't that a guide to prayer? All of us ought to pray the Bible. We ought to know enough Scripture to pray Scripture back to the Lord. That's exactly what Mary does. She knows her Bible, and isn't that a vital principle for the living of the Christian life, to know your Bible? And not just know it so that your head is crammed full of a few facts, but so that your heart is taken captive by that word, so that when the joys of life or the crises of life hit and you're in autopilot, what comes out is what you've treasured up in your heart and what has shaped your life - the Scripture. It's informing how you live, how you pray, how you cry, how you weep, how you request, and how you react. This young woman knew her Bible, and when time came for her to say the appropriate thing in response to this extraordinary word from Elizabeth, she knew what to say.

II. Mary's Humility

There's a second thing we learn here, though, and we see it in Mary's humility. You see it in verse 48, and then you see it again in verses 51-52. She speaks of the Lord looking on "the humble estate" of His servant, and then she speaks of how He's brought low the proud, but that He's exalted the humble. We learn that the Christian life is also healthiest that is humblest.

And I want to suggest that that's something that we need to grow in the Christian life. We need to grow in humility. Humility is absolutely essential for the living of the Christian life. If you haven't cultivated gospel humility, you haven't cultivated the queen of all gospel graces; for the sure mark that the Holy Spirit has done a work in your heart is in the production in you of gospel humility.

[*Begin Bold*] III. Mary's Gratitude [*End Bold*]

But she's also grateful. Look at verses 46 -49. The whole section oozes gratitude.

Have you thought about the danger that Mary is in? She's a young teenage girl in a culture where people who commit adultery get stoned to death. But more than the cultural or social danger that she faced, she is now Ground Zero in the bull's eye of Satan's sights. And what's more, as Elizabeth has already predicted, because she is to be the mother of a boy who was born to die, in the midst of her immense joy, she is going to bear the sharpest of sorrows - all her life.

The Christian life is healthiest that is characterized by gratitude, even when we have great burdens to bear, and Mary shows us how it's done, right here.

IV. Mary Understands Something of God's Larger Plan

Fourth, Mary, even in this song in which she acknowledges this unique thing that God is doing in her life and this unique thing that He's going to do in the life of her son, is all about God's people and the larger plan of God in the history of His people.

The Christian life is healthiest that is anchored in our understanding that there is something bigger than just us: God's plan. And it's more than about just us individually; it's about all of God's people. We're a part of that story as individuals, to be sure, but when we come to faith in Jesus Christ, we're brought into a family and we're part of a story about that family.

And Mary reminds us that we need to view ourselves as a part of God's people, a part of what God has been doing in the past, a part of God's work in the history of redemption, and a part of a destiny that all of us will share together.

V. It's All About the Gospel.

One last thing. Did you notice about this song that it's all about the gospel? This song has nothing in it about what we do. This psalm has nothing in it about what we do to save ourselves. This song is all about what God has done for the salvation of His people.

We have a word for that. One word: gospel. Two words: good news. It's all about what God has done for the salvation, for the redemption of His people. She reminds us that if we're going to live the Christian life, we need to know the gospel and believe the gospel, and then live out the gospel.

She gives us a good example by responding as she does in praise to God for the gospel, but in doing so she also reminds us that the whole Christian life is based on the gospel. It is God's initiating mercy to us in Jesus Christ by which He forgives us and pardons and accepts us that is the foundation for everything in life. Until we understand that we do not deserve forgiveness, but that for all who admit that they do not deserve forgiveness and who look to God for forgiveness, by mercy there is more forgiveness offered than we could possibly get our heads around. And that's the whole foundation of the whole Christian life. And Mary reminds us of it in this great psalm.