Intro. This years advent messages are based on the next four passages of our Christmas Eve service – Lessons and Carols.
The big idea. In announcing the arrival of the Messiah we are reminded that God’s redemptive work is based upon grace and covenant faithfulness.
I. Find our place within Luke’s "orderly account."
Two unlikely births: John the Baptist and Jesus.
The role of angels is to peel back the curtain, if you will, and explain the cosmic importance behind events. Angels visit both sets of parents.
Contrast Zachariah’s response to the one angel to Mary’s response to the angel Gabriel. Luke writes in a way to not just show the facts of the birth but what the facts mean.
Mary’s song: betrothal was a legaly binding agreement and if strayed during this time it was considered the same as adultery. Contrast her song with Zechariah’s song.
II. Mary is not the source of, but the recipient of God’s grace. Vv 28, 30
GOD’S grace finds this young woman in her lowliness. Like water, grace goes down to the lowest points to find us too.
III. Covenant faithfulness exemplified. Vv. 27 , 31-37
The language used here we have heard before: Mary is told the pregnancy will happen when the Holy Spirit comes over her. This is the same language in Genesis 1 when the Holy Spirit hovers over the face of the water. This is to show that God is recreating the world!
There is also the same language here as is in Daniel 7 about the son of man. This is not just some baby. This is God’s son and the fulfilled of all the prophecies in the Old Testament.
IV. Respond rightly to GOD’S grace and covenant faithfulness. V38
How is Mary going to sell this to her family? How will they believe that it is God’s son not Joseph’s. Punishment for this could be death. Who is going to believe her? What is her response? I am the Lord’s slave or servant. She does not look for answers. She trusts God instead.
What or whom are you serving? We are serving someone or something. What is it? Your own comfort? Your own way and path? Your own glory and name’s sake?
Or like Mary, are we the Lord’s slaves also not knowing what we will get? She doesn’t get answers. She doesn’t get HOW she will be believed when she explains this to her family. But, she gets Jesus. Having Jesus is enough – more than enough.
Those who trust him wholly, find him wholly true as the songwriter wrote in our hymn today.
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Thanks Eric. Appreciate you. Thanks for pointing us to Christ.
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