Lk.1:46,47 – And Mary said:
“My soul exalts the Lord,
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior”.
One thing that both Catholics and Protestants tend to miss when speaking of Mary, the mother of Jesus, is her profound relationship and dependency on the Holy Spirit. In Mary’s day there had been no anointed prophets, priests, or kings moving in the power of the Spirit. There had been a four hundred year gap since anyone experienced the power of the Spirit upon their lives. All of that changed with Mary’s visitation by the angel Gabriel. Suddenly Mary was overwhelmed by the Spirit. She found herself singing, prophesying, and dancing in the Spirit. A new day had definitely come. Here is how Luther described this scene.
“For no one can rightly understand God or His Word who has not received such understanding directly from the Holy Spirit. But no one can receive it from the Holy Spirit without experiencing, proving and feeling it. In such experience the Holy Spirit instructs us as in His own school, outside of which naught is learned save empty words and idle fables. When the Holy Virgin, then, experienced what great things God wrought in her, notwithstanding she was so poor, meek, despised, and of low degree, the Holy Spirit taught her this precious knowledge and wisdom, that God is a Lord whose work consists but in this — to exalt them of low degree, to put down the mighty from their seats, in short, to break whatever is whole and make whole whatever is broken. For even as God in the beginning of creation made the world out of nothing, whence He is called the Creator and the Almighty, so His manner of working continues still the same. Even now and unto the end of the world, all His works are such that out of that which is nothing, worthless, despised, wretched and dead, He makes that which is something, precious, honorable, blessed and living….”
So Mary was an insignificant girl in an insignificant town. What changed all of that? It was simply a visitation of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus was thirty, He too had an encounter with the Spirit. Mary, of all people, knew that would change everything. When the Holy Spirit fell on the day of Pentecost in the upper room Mary was there. She remembered the spirit of prophecy that had fallen on her many years ago as the crowd spoke in tongues and Peter lifted up his voice and began to prophesy; “This is that”. Mary knew more than anyone that the world would now never be the same.