Pull Me a Little Closer

Luke 1:26-56 (NIV)

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabrielto Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth.41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”

Mary’s Song

46 And Mary said:

“My soul glorifies the Lord
47     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
    of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49     for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
    holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
    from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
    he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
    but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
    but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
    remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
    just as he promised our ancestors.”

56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.

Lyrics

VERSE 1

I’m staring out a window

Watching as the sun falls  

Wondering where the time has gone 

So many things that I’ve seen 

Changes deep within me 

How have I been asked to be the one?

 

PRE-CHORUS 1

When life is not what it seems

You are constant with me 

 

CHORUS

Pull me a little closer 

Draw me a little deeper to Your heart 

Pull me a little closer 

I wanna know 

Wanna know You, God 

 

VERSE 2

I’m trusting in Your goodness 

Fighting Lord with my best             

Trying to withstand the storm 

The arrows they fly swiftly 

Backs they’ve turned against me

But today You told me sweetly 

 

PRE-CHORUS 2

Child, you are set free 

You’re beautifully made, an heir to the King

 

CHORUS

Pull me a little closer 

Draw me a little deeper to Your heart 

Pull me a little closer 

I wanna know 

Wanna know You, God 

 

BRIDGE

My soul glorifies Your name

If this is Your will, I will humbly obey

For You are much greater than they

When I start to fear, You answer and say, You will 

 

CHORUS

Pull me a little closer 

Draw me a little deeper to Your heart 

Pull me a little closer 

I wanna know 

Wanna know You, God                 

 

VERSE 3

As I’m staring out this window 

I know I’m never let go 

Nothing can remove Your love 

From this place it has in my heart 

For You and You alone, God 

Holy Spirit come and fill me up 

Father, let Your will be done, will You 

 

CHORUS [2X]

Pull me a little closer 

Draw me a little deeper to Your heart 

Pull me a little closer 

I wanna know 

Wanna know You, God 

Image by Cole Keister

Dive Deeper

 

The voices swirled around her… “pregnant out of wedlock! Poor Joseph…” 

 

The faces of disdain and pity glanced at her from the shadows… “what will she do now? Such disgrace…”

 

It was so incredible, so miraculous. An angel from the Lord… the Holy Spirit pouring over and through her… a miraculous conception. And then again, an angel of the Lord meeting Joseph in a dream… Joseph choosing faith over fear… choosing love over rejection. 

 

She had then visited Elizabeth and together they had rejoiced at the goodness of the God they serve. The God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. Their God, Who had chosen them and had favored and honored them. Unable to contain themselves and their wonder, the Holy Spirit poured out through them as they sang praise to God and prophesied to the generations that were changed in this one moment in time. 

 

And then there were days like this. Days when her neighbors’ talking seemed to grow as much as her swelling belly. 

 

Maybe you have been there too. Our Father, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob reached out and met you in an incredible way, and you couldn’t contain the joy and praise that poured out of you. Your faith soaring, you took His hand and started down that dimly lit path, one step at a time. 

 

But not everything went as you had imagined. Unexpected obstacles came, and you found yourself misunderstood in the midst of an explanation that seemed impossible… or maybe rejected for a step of faith that offended those around you, even the ones you love most… and haven’t we all found ourselves lonely at times when those we thought would stand with us instead slowly drifted away?

 

In his gospel, Luke parallels Zachariah’s angelic visitation right next to Mary’s in his recounting of these two cousins - John the Baptist’s and Jesus’ - birth stories. While both responses can teach the reader quite a bit, it is Mary’s humility, surrender, and faith that shine a light on the heart attitudes that keep us walking in communion down the path with the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. 

 

Humility. Mary knows who she is, and she is secure in her identity. Let this sink in. If we are to walk in faith, it is critical that we are rooted in an identity that finds its foundation in the words (ie: Truth), actions (ie: perfect love), and presence of the Trinity - and in nothing else. Mary does not think any higher of herself or any lower of herself in her understanding of her identity before the Lord. We see this not only in her immediate response to the angel, “I am the Lord’s servant,” but also as she continues further in the spontaneous song that bursts from her during her initial reunion with Elizabeth: “For he [God] took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed. For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me.”

 

It is only in the low place of humility that we can fully be raised up, understanding that the rising up comes not from anything that we could do in our strength, but instead from “the Mighty One who is holy and has done great things for us!

 

Surrender and faith then surround the words that follow the initial flow of humility… “may everything you have said about me come true.”

 

Surrender. Is it possible that Mary already had dreams of how her marriage and family would look? Promised to Joseph, she was already on the path to growing a family in the traditional way… maybe plans were already being discussed and preparations made between mother and daughter for this great upcoming life change.  

 

And then this. 

 

What greater honor could there be than to be favored and chosen by our very Father-King to carry His own Son?! And yet in place of the security that the traditional marriage route would lend her, she finds herself called to a path of uncertainty, misunderstanding, and unfamiliarity. 

 

But still, she surrenders. 

 

She surrenders to the unknown, to taking things one day at a time, and to listening to the Holy Spirit’s lead moment by moment. And she surrenders to trusting God more than the traditions and rituals that made up the culture and community that she had always called home. 

 

Faith. Because what is faith if it is not rooted in trusting our God? 

 

We find that Mary is not only confident in her own identity, but she is deeply confident in the identity of her God as well… so confident that these are the words that fill her mouth in her initial moments of greeting Elizabeth.

 

“God my Savior… he takes notice… the Mighty One… he shows mercy… he scatters the proud… brings down the princes and exalts the humble… fills the hungry with good things… helps his servants… carries out his promises.”

 

And not only does she sing out the character traits of her God over herself and Elizabeth, but she sings them out over generations and generations to come. 

 

Faith. Deep faith. This did not come in a moment of emotion. This did not come through sporadic times of study. This faith came from knowing her God deeply, from recognizing His character, from hearing over and over the rich stories of old… stories of a good, loving God and His people: a story of a great flood and a few faithful saved, a story of a great giant and a small shepherd with a few stones, and a story of a God that leads with a cloud by day and a fire by night and a people that slowly learned to mold their will to His. 

 

She obediently trusted Him in the little daily acts until she could trust Him and He could trust her in greater callings as well. 

 

She learned to live in His presence and hear His voice so that she knew it when He spoke. To let Him pull her a little closer in the good and the hard days and all the days of change that marked the path before her.

 

She is not a stranger to her God, and He is not a stranger to her. 

 

And when He calls her, she is able to humbly surrender her life to whatever He asks of her, placing her trust and faith in Him. 

 

Oh, Father, may we be found faithful and ready as well. 

Image by John-Mark Smith

Hidden Features

Biblical Point of View:

Mary, mother of God

Musical Explanation:

  • This song is sung from Mary’s point of view the moment she

         realizes she is going to be

         the mother of Jesus. 

  • Mary sings the chorus “pull me a little closer” right before and as she is

         receiving Jesus,

         and you also hear this chorus again in It is Finished after Mary loses Jesus. 

  • Within the song Mary sings and asks for the Lord to fill her up and this is symbolic of her being impregnated by  the Spirit of God, but also a longing desire to be close the Lord. 

  • You will hear this melody make an appearance in Now and Forever and Always as Joseph is singing about his love  symbolizing his love for his wife Mary. 

  • All of Mary’s songs contain only a piano with the exception of In His Eyes which has both piano and guitar to  show the union of Mary and Joseph. 

How to sing:

This song is sung as a prayer. Aspects of it are soft to represent the worries and fears to be worked through, while other aspects of it portray a desperate longing to be closer to the Lord in the midst of all the uncertainty. While there may be uncertainty in the news presented the singer views this news in light of the confidence of who God is and thus desires to be drawn nearer to Him. As you listen to/sing this song, envision yourself receiving the most important news you could ever receive; Then take a deep breath, pray, and look upward with closed eyes and open hands as you spend time in the presence of God. 

Pull Me a Little Closer