Body, Soul, and Spirit

Hovering over a single declaration this morning. Two verses . . . one glorious declaration. A song, of sorts, which not only calls me to enter into the speaker’s experience . . . but a pronouncement that invites me to participate, as well . . . an assertion which connects me and prompts me to join the chorus. The singer? Mary . . . a young woman betrothed to Joseph . . . a virgin with child from the Holy Spirit . . . a lowly creature favored of the Creator . . . engaged in a mini worship meeting with her cousin, Elizabeth. The song? Referred to as The Magnificat. The theme? God my Savior. The instrument? Mary’s entire being . . . body, soul, and spirit.

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

It seems to me that Mary’s song is a model for worship in so many ways. The focus of her words is the Lord . . . His person . . . and His power. He is the “God my Savior” . . . able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to Him (Heb. 7:25). He is the one who sees the humble estate of His servants . . . He is mighty and He is holy . . . and He is merciful. He shows Himself strong . . . scattering the proud, bringing down the mighty from their thrones, sending away the rich empty . . . exalting those of lowly estate, filling the hungry, a present help to His people . . . all in faithful remembrance of His promises. (Luke 1:48-55)

And how do you attempt to worship such a God? With body, soul, and spirit.

Mary speaks the words. Her body engages . . . her jaws move . . . her mouth forms words . . . her vocal chords are activated. I imagine she lifts her eyes (or maybe even her hands!) . . . or, perhaps, she bows her head. Her lungs take in air . . . her diaphragm works to expel it . . . becoming the fuel behind the sounds of thanksgiving. That which she tries to comprehend in her brain, can’t help but be expressed through her body.

And it is with her soul that she magnifies the Lord. The essence of who she is . . . her feelings, desires, affections, fears, are awakened and intent on one thing . . . to make great her God. Not that God’s greatness is somehow dependent on her . . . but that it is declared . . . it is lauded . . . it is celebrated . . . it is brought into focus through her expression of gratitude, awe, and wonder. All that is within her focused on one thing . . . to bring Him into greater focus . . . to ascribe glory and praise to her God of wonders.

Finally, with her spirit she rejoices in her Savior. That which enlivens the soul . . . that which sets eternity within the hearts of men and women . . . that which connects with the Spirit of God . . . that which takes the things of faith and makes them the objects of joy and exaltation. With her spirit she is exceedingly glad as it bears witness to the inner testimony of a reality beyond her reality.

I’m not doing any justice done in trying to describe it . . . but for any who have experienced it . . . the inner moving of one’s spirit in response to the things of God . . . the welling up of soul as the fountains of living water fill it . . . the “joyful noise” created by a body desiring to call out to Him who formed it from the dust of the earth. It’s . . . it’s . . . well, it’s magnificent!

O’ the privilege to be able to magnify our God . . . to feebly attempt to extol His Name . . . to earnestly desire to declare the wonder of His works . . . to do so with body, soul, and spirit.

By His grace . . . for His glory!


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