Luke 1: 26-38

“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary.”

Uh, we are celebrating the first Sunday of advent and we’re going to be looking at different passages of scripture each week. Leading up to Christmas. Advent literally comes from the Latin word Adventis meaning coming or arrival. It’s not a fellowship specific tradition that we do lighting candles and reading scripture.

It is a time honored tradition through church history to look forward to the coming of. And the same way that lent kind of leads up to Easter, the resurrection lent and also advent help us celebrate in a long fashion, the way to Easter and to Christmas. And so during this time we will be doing that in a couple different ways.

The first one is contemplation and the second one is celebration contemplation to just slow down to pause repent of our sin, resting in God’s faithfulness and the celebration of Christ actively remembering and enjoying him in our lives. Uh, probably at your house. Uh, light is a really big part of the Christmas season for you lighting the Christmas tree lights on the house, uh, candles.

And so light is the theme that we’re going to be reading through all the scriptures, uh, leading up to Christmas during our advent readings, this. Ah, Jesus enters the world in a period of darkness as the light of the world, as we read in John one. So I want to read you this quote by Stuart Briscoe, that talks about, uh, the spirit of Christmas and the spirit of Christ.

Listen to this. The spirit of Christmas needs to be superseded by the spirit of Christ. The spirit of Christmas is annual. The spirit of Christ is eternal. The spirit of Christmas is sentimental. The spirit of Christ is supernatural. The spirit of Christmas is a human product. The spirit of Christ is a divine person, and that makes all the difference in the world.

And so we focus in on Christ. Um, we are also going to be lighting candles. They are leading up to again the different weeks toward Christmas, and we’ll be excited to do that. I know a number of women gathered together a few weeks back to make these advent wreaths. Um, it is not just to be done in church.

It is also to be done at your house. And so if you have an advent reef, if you have candles, you can do this at home. In fact, we’re going to resource you each week that you come, uh, when you leave or on the way in, you can pick it up today. Uh, there are a little packets of advent tells you why we do it. It gives you the scripture to read and to contemplate gives you questions for your kids to do.

Um, parents, take them, please take them. Uh, don’t miss the Christmas spirit of Christ in this season. And so, uh, go ahead and grab those on the way. Just to highlight. We do have books that are out in the lobby. Um, all advent leading up to Christmas devotionals, you can do each day. Um, John Piper has one.

Paul Tripp has an incredible one. Ann Voskamp has one Marty Michalski, one that involves your kids as well. Uh, go and take a picture of those books. Find them. They’re incredible. Uh, great resources, um, this morning. Okay. Want to start with a quick story here? My wife, Joanna and I have been married for a while, but on our first wedding anniversary, um, we celebrated it the whole weekend.

It was a great time. Um, but we played in a soccer game. Uh, our church was involved in a church soccer league, highly competitive church soccer league, uh, both campuses, Collingswood and Mount Laurel, not going to say which was the better team, but I think it was Mount Laurel. Um, came. Um, local churches in our area all played.

It was a really fun time. And so we played in that for years and we were part of this, the soccer game. And I remember distinctly, um, on our anniversary, it was after a Saturday morning soccer game, um, ma the marriage had not been going super great as of late, you know, coming up on the one year anniversary.

And there’s a specific quote. My wife said, which I’ll never forget. She said, either we need serious marital counseling or I’m pregnant, neither of which I wanted to happen at the moment, but we marched on and found ourselves pregnant. We were going to have a child on our, uh, here, here we go. And we’re marching ahead.

Um, and one of the things that really stuck out to me was okay, now that we know we’re pregnant, this news is sinking in and you kind of maybe know where I’m going to go with this, but what does that do to a person? Maybe you’ve had those words spoken to you, or you’ve seen those little lines on the pregnancy test and thought I’m shocked.

I’m surprised. I’m scared. I’m nervous. I don’t know what is coming next. Um, well for us, it involved maybe communicating with our friends and our family and, uh, sharing with us. And at the time Joanna and I were both youth leaders. I was youth pastor. And so worked with kids a lot. And so naturally the big reveal that maybe some of you do on Facebook, I did with youth group kids, weirdest thing in the whole world did it twice with both of my kids, but I show the youth group kids, the ultrasound picture, and it was like this big moment.

Lots of fun. Some of you were probably there for that moment, too. But we also did one more thing. Facebook was still like young at that point. And so there is this thing that we found, it was kind of like a baby generator. And what you did was you put your picture and your wife’s picture in the generator and thank you, mark Zuckerberg out pops your baby.

And we had this moment where it came up on the screen and it said, meet your baby. And here’s what we saw

that picture. I feel like we post every year, just to never forget. Um, we were confused on as many levels as you think we were confused. Well, we had a lot of questions. We had a ton of questions about what being a parents was going to be like. Thankfully, I’ve never found the same website. Again, it’s probably been deleted, but we’re going to be in Luke chapter one about the birth of Christ.

The announcement that you are pregnant. Mary comes in Luke chapter one, page 8 0 3, turn with me there this morning. We’re going to be working through the major characters in the Christmas story over the next number of weeks. The Mary, the Joseph angels, we have Wiseman and shepherds. And then also this guy named Simeon, who we’re not going to overlook.

These are probably familiar encounters. If you’ve been part of our church or even been a part of the living nativity, maybe you’ve heard some of these scriptures spoken over you as you walk through and maybe can quote some of them because of how familiar you are with them. Luke chapter 1 26, we’ll begin reading.

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth to a Virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph of the house of David. And the Virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, greetings, oh, favored one. The Lord is with you. But she was greatly troubled at the saying and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be.

And the angel said to her, do not be afraid, Mary, for you found favor with God and behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son and you shall call his name. Jesus. He will be great and will be called the son of the most high. And the Lord, God will give to him the throne of his father, David. And he will reign over the house of Jacob forever and of his kingdom.

There will be no end. And Mary said to the angel, how will this be? Since I am a. And the angel answered her. The holy spirit will come upon you. And the power of the most high will overshadow you. Therefore, the child to be born will be called holy the son of God and behold. Your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son.

And this is the sixth month with her who was called barren for nothing will be impossible with God. And Mary said, behold, I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be to me, according to your word. And the angel departed from her. Pray with me this morning,

Lord God, we come expectant to your word and thankful we believe your word has the power to change hearts and lives. We believe that you come as the answer to the sin scarred. Not only do you come to bring light in the darkness, you came to bring followers to you. And we joined in this advent waiting season, again, looking forward to your birth, but we know as a church, now we look forward in the season of advent, again, to your second coming, make us a blessing to our community, to the rich and the poor, the educated and uneducated to the emotionally wounded and the atheist to the orphan and the widow.

God, you have come to bring hope to a dark world. So we ask that you would fill us with your hope that we might reflect that to the people around us. We pray these things in your name. Amen. As we jump into these various accounts, we have to start with who wrote the book of Luke. Does anybody know.

Some of you thought you were really sure Luke, come on guys. It’s the book of Luke. Okay. Luke, Luke wrote the book of Luke. He is the author and he wrote with specific things in mind, more appropriate. He called it’s called a letter that Luke wrote to Theopolis. You’ll find that in the first few verses that Theopolis was this man who was evidently a Gentile, not a Jew who had grown up in this spiritual tradition heritage and he was converted to following Jesus.

And so Luke is writing here to a man named Theopolis this gospel account. And he says, I’m writing this so that you would have full assurance, that you would know the things that are true and that you would walk in them. This man Theopolis was a high up official says that he kind of was an important person in this, in this.

And he was in need of this encouragement. And so Luke writes an orderly account. Luke is a physician, a doctor. And so the things that he writes intentionally are an orderly account to give assurance to the readers. That to me is a fun letter to read. I’m going to be assured of who Christ is, and I’m gonna be able to walk in this.

And so we read this morning, Theopolis would have certainty about a few things from this letter. Number one, that this was God’s plan for salvation outlined in the book of Luke, that God was faithful to the promises that he’s made to bring a savior that the savior would have come to bring inclusion to both the Jews on the included part and also to the Gentiles, the whole nations, and that he would also give a picture of what true followers of Christ looked like in the book of.

A few passages that we’re going to break into sections this morning. The first is the arrival of the angel, the angels arrival. If you’re filling in the blanks there, we see the angel coming to, uh, to coming to Mary Gabriel is here. We know that from the texts, the angels, a messenger sent by God. And oddly enough, there are only two angels that are named and Gabriel is one of them.

And the scriptures, the rest are just called angels. And so Gabriel is mentioned here and he was sent by God in the middle of this time to a particular place, to a specific individual. With a specific message. Luke records, all of them intentionally that we might catch what is happening here. He came in the sixth month.

Well, what in the world does the sixth month mean? Um, well, if you read it in context here, you know, that just before this reading in the first part of Luke, there was another appearance that Gabriel made to a woman, to a man named Zechariah that he and his wife Elizabeth were going to have a baby named John John would prepare the way for Jesus.

And so he comes to a specific moment in history. It was Elizabeth six month of pregnancy. The angel came to a specific city, the city of Galilee to the town of Nazareth, which was about 80 miles from Jerusalem. And he was on this trade route through the hill country. And then you find Nazareth kind of an insignificant, not super important.

It was a poor peasant village, a stop along the way. Gabriel came to Mary, a Virgin who was betrothed to Joseph. not a current, uh, tradition that we have, but it’s like engagement on steroids. Like if you were betrothed, marriage was imminent, it was happening. You were committed. You weren’t living together, but you were committed and connected an intense commitment.

We know that Joseph came from the house of king David and Mary from the family line of David and Gabriel came with a specific message. And the first part of his message is spoken greetings. Oh, favored one. The Lord is with you. Mary just remained silent and kind of has this puzzled look on her face.

What is going on here? What kind of greeting is this? She wasn’t. It’s almost like as Luke is recording this orderly account of the gospel, he’s intentionally highlighting things for a reason, because if we look back, the backdrop is there had been a lot of prophecies foretold about Jesus, about the Messiah that would come and people had been longing in this expectation waiting for that day.

This Jesus would preach and follow he’s. The fulfillment of all these ancient Jewish prophecies Genesis three 15, the Messiah will be born of a woman. Isaiah seven 14 Messiah would be born of a Virgin. Isaiah nine seven Messiah would come to be the heir of king David’s throne, Isaiah 43 through five, a messenger.

John would prepare the way for Messiah Isaiah 11. One Messiah would be called a Nazarene. Isaiah nine one and two Messiah would bring light to Galilee. Now, if you think back before these gospel accounts were written at this time, there was darkness. God had spoken through these profits. People were longing.

There was expectation, truly advent waiting, but before the light Jesus came into the world, there was darkness. Silence, no communication from God for 400 years, no prophetic words, truly a time of waiting. And the angel Gabriel appears at the beginning and he shows up and says, it’s time. The light has come.

Advent is over. The Messiah is on his way. Imagine some of the first heavenly words spoken after 400 years of darkness and silence from. To a young Virgin girl in a small insignificant village greetings. Oh, favored one. The Lord is with you. What an incredible moment for Mary to experience this was good news.

And it would bring confidence not only to Mary, as she would carry the Christ, but it also bring confidence to the reader. Theopolis as he’s reading this letter here and saying, I know that this is rooted, not just in somebody’s account, but in prophetic history over time. Second here, the angels announcement.

What does the angel say? Verse 30. If you look there with me, the angel said to her, do not be afraid. Mary, for you found favor with God and behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son. You shall call his name. Jesus. He will be great. It will be called the son of the most high and the Lord. God will give him the throne over his father.

And he will reign over the house of Jacob forever and of his kingdom. There will be no end. Mary has given his name that he’s going to beat named Jesus. He’s also going to have a position, the son of the most high God and ruler of Israel that has authority. He’d be seated on David’s throne and his kingdom will never end.

Now, if you’re tracking at this point, reading through the texts and you are thinking like Mary, not only did an angel show up after 400 years of silence to your house, but now he’s telling you that you’re going to conceive and give birth to this incredible bully. That’s going to rise up and be ruler over.

Throughout history. Uh, there’ve been many P works of art created to kind of capture this enunciation moment. And, um, Mary is pictured there on the right. This is Michael Angelo’s version, and she’s kind of like, what’s going on. Dumb founded, thankfully art doesn’t talk because Mary didn’t at this point. Um, but she’s just kind of like, what, what do I make of all this?

What kind of news are you bringing?

Mary responds with a question. How will this be since I am a Virgin? And it’s important to note what Mary’s not asking. She’s not saying, uh, if this could happen, she’s saying, how is this going to happen? It’s a practical question. If I’m a Virgin, literally I’ve not known a man before in that way. How am I going to have a baby in the sense that you’re talking about I’m in, but how is this going to take place?

The angel answered the holy spirit will come upon you in the power of the most high will overshadow you. Therefore, the child to be born will be called holy the son of God and behold. Your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son. And this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.

Nothing will be impossible with God. You catch whispers of like the creation account. In this moment, the holy spirit is hovering over. There’s been darkness and all of a sudden the light comes into the. The spirit of God, hovered over the darkness. And he said, let there be light this creation of something to come and bring light.

The God man Jesus was coming. This would be divinely created inside of her womb. And oh, by the way, Mary, nothing is impossible with God. I want to let you know that because your relative Elizabeth, who is barren can have kids. She is already pregnant. Let me remind you of that. And Mary’s incredible response for a teenager.

She’s comprehending all this information. She says behold, verse 38. I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be to me, according to your word and the angel departed from her, you can almost picture it right. Mary’s hands, open bowing, low on her knees. Let it be to me. As you’ve said, I have no idea how this is going to happen, but I believe that it will happen.

Whatever you say, Lord, I’m yours. Now this whole narrative about Elizabeth also being pregnant. Her relative is kind of in the middle of all this too, because if we zoom back out for a second, remember who’s writing. Luke is writing to Theopolis and he intentionally puts two of these announcement narratives right next to each other.

The first one is around, uh, when the, the angel Gabriel appears to Zechariah in the temple. I want to read to you this account, uh, that happened six months before Gabriel comes to Mary. It’s the very beginning of Luke, same page. That is actually unnumbered in your pew Bible, but it is 8 0 3 still. Uh, it comes after 8 0 2 and before.

Okay. Uh, go to Luke chapter one, verse five.

In the days of Herod king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah of the division of Abijah and he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God walking blamelessly and all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. But they had no child because Elizabeth was barren and both were advanced in years, probably more than 60 years old.

Now, while he was serving as a priest before God, when his division was on-duty, according to the customs of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn into. Now, if we pause here, this was kind of a rotation. The priest would go in every six months, they would go and burn this incense.

The people would gather and pray outside, and the priest would be part of this, but there were 24 divisions of these priests and in each division near a thousand priests, uh, people that would be able to do this work. And so one in 24,000 shot of you being called in your lifetime, probably to get pulled in to do this task.

I think God was at work when he chose Zechariah to do this verse 10. And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. He’s in the temple, in this specific place alone with the Lord.

And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, do not be afraid. Zechariah for your prayer has been heard. And your wife, Elizabeth will bear you a son and you shall call his name, John, and you will have joy and gladness and many will rejoice at his birth for, he will be great before the Lord, and he must not drink wine or strong drink.

And he will be filled with the holy spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord, their God. And he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of the fathers, to the children and the disobedient, to the wisdom of the, just to make ready for the Lord.

A people prepared. Now these are loaded with prophetic fulfillment here, things that have been spoken in the past that John was coming as, uh, the fulfillment of. Also note that this specific priest and his wife, Elizabeth had been actively praying and asking God to provide them a child. God heard their prayer.

And surely if you are a priest of this caliber that gets selected to go in before on the altar of incense and burn this, you would have called to mind pretty easily. The fact that God has done this before he’s opened the wounds of people before and brought forth children where it seemed like there was no way.

And Zechariah verse 18 said to the angel, how shall I know this or translated, but what will I know by what will I know this? Or how will I know this for certain, for I’m an old man and my wife has advanced in years like Gabriel, come on, give me a sign. How’s this going to happen? What are we gonna do? And the angel answered him.

I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news translation. I’m your sign, bro. Okay. And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.

And the people were waiting for Zechariah. And they were wondering at his delay in the temple, typically following this burning of incense, the priest would come out to the edge of the temple steps and he would deliver kind of a benediction. He maybe would have a song, a Psalm that was sung. He would pour out the drink, offering things were done after he came out of the temple.

And when he came out, he wasn’t able to speak to them. And they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple and he kept making signs to them and remained mute. And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home. I mean, imagine the pastor coming up and you’re ready to hear the words of God and he gets to the edge

and it’s just mute. Nothing is coming out. What would you eventually do? You probably would look around and get up and go home and leave because you can’t understand what is happening while the people just kind of walked out of this really significant religious ceremony and just left, like an anticlimactic end to this most in special moment in Zechariah’s life.

A once in a lifetime chance to serve God in this profound way, you go in, you do your thing, you smell like the presence of God and you come out mute. Verse 24. After these days, his wife, Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden saying, thus, the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me to take away my reproach among people he’s given me this child.

Okay. There are the two stories side-by-side at the beginning of the book of Luke, both of them are visited by the angel. Gabriel, both are promised a miraculous birth of a son, a picture of God’s grace, both are equally unfit to have a child Zachariah’s wife is barren and Mary is a Virgin and both respond with what seems like equal perplexity.

But Zacharias is a question of doubt. How can I be sure that this is true? And Mary is this sounds like a question filled with one. How’s this can happen. Mary’s submissive, obedient, faith filled response. Let it be to me. As you have said on paper, Zechariah had every reason to celebrate. He was visited by Gabriel.

His wife would give birth and answer to the prayers. They’ve been praying for many, many years. And quite honestly, Elizabeth was probably shamed at this point because being barren meant either you had some sort of secret sin that people were talking about behind your back, or you were just cursed by God or whatever it was.

And that was going to be lifted too. And he doubted, and on the flip side, Mary had every reason to run and hide. In fact, what we find in Deuteronomy is that this in chapter 22, if a man happens to meet in a town, a Virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps. You shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death.

We don’t know how this might’ve happened, but it didn’t happen that she was stoned to death, but it very well possibly could have happened. If people thought something had happened here, the laws were to make an example of them and stone them to death, a cause for shame and for hiding, we see that same process at work in Joseph’s life as he finds out as well.

And yet her faith, her humility to carry king, Jesus turns into number three Mary’s adoration. Now you could probably pick a better word worship her overflow, her surrender, all those different things, but we’re just going with AEs this morning. So Mary’s adoration is the third day. Verse 39, Mary takes off and she’s running to go visit her relative.

Elizabeth. She goes with haste into the hill country, married, received this incredible gift of God’s grace. And now, as she was invited to carry the, the Christ, the one who would be savior of the world, she’s just overjoyed, listened to the way in. Voskamp writes about this divine mystery that had taken place.

But God, when he comes, he shows up in this fetal ball, he who carved the edges of the cosmos curved himself into a fetal ball in the dark tethered himself to the uterine wall of a Virgin and let his cells divide. He gave up the heavens that were not even large enough to contain him and let himself be held in hand the mystery.

So large becomes the baby so small. An infinite God becomes infant. The giver becomes the gift. Elizabeth is there in this home and she’s hearing as Mary comes rushing in verse 41, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb, that’s John inside of her and Elizabeth was filled with the holy spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry.

Blessed. Are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me for behold when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb, leaped for joy and blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord worshiping the unborn Jesus in her presence.

An incredible gift of God’s grace. What must it have been like if you happen to be in that house and your name was Zechariah, you can’t speak at this point. And here are these two women who have been just given this divine gift and they’re celebrating joyously and you hear your wife speak the words blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.

I just imagine he’s running through that moment again in the temple Zacharias there, I should have believed I should have trusted that God would do just this. And then Mary chimes in with one of the most beautiful songs recorded in scripture. The Magnificat my soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God.

My savior for he has looked on the humble estate of his. For behold from now on all generations will call me blessed for he who has mighty has done great things for me. And holy is his name verse 50. And this mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm.

He has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the mighty from their Thrones and exalted those of humble estate. He has filled the hungry with good things and the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.

And Mary remained with her about three months and returned home. So once John the Baptist had been born, Mary returns home, the gracious savior received by Mary, this impossible task. Move the humble servant to worship. Let it be to me, as you have said. So my question to you this morning is how do we apply this, our application?

What do we do as we respond to the grace of God coming to us? I think first we have to ask what would have Theopolis thought about all of this as he’s reading these two juxtaposed birth accounts or announcement accounts

for Theopolis a Gentile, someone who hasn’t been raised in this tradition, this faith history over time, it probably gave him incredible confidence. The humble surrender of a peasant girl was elevated and this religious elite Zachariah who doubted was muted. He was invited in the high status or the, uh, history of your religious background mattered nothing though.

You’re not a Jew. You are set free in the name of Jesus. He probably thought to proclaim this good news. Maybe you two were not born into a home, a Christian home, as you’ve heard people say before, maybe your heritage is a little less like the priest Zachariah this line all the way through and a little more like Theopolis the Gentile kind of just making your way midway through life.

Be confident of your salvation. John writes this and chapter one, this is an incredible passage here. The true light Jesus who gives light to every man was coming into the world. He was in the world and though the world was made through him, the world didn’t recognize. He came to his own people and his own people did not receive him.

But to all who did receive him, Jesus, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, children born, not of blood, nor the desire of, or will of man, but born of God, possibly you’ve been raised in the church and you’ve been around proximity to all of these scriptures and things being taught over time.

And I want to suggest this morning that that isn’t enough, his own people. He came through. He didn’t, he wasn’t recognized they didn’t receive him. And so this morning don’t assume that, you know, Jesus simply because you’ve been around church your whole life. We just finished the sermon on the Mount, Matthew seven, not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven.

But the one who does the will of my father, who is in heaven on that day, many will say to me, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and cast out demons in your name and do many mighty works in your name? And then I will declare I never knew you depart from me. You workers of lawlessness, a true faith in Christ lives out the gospel as a humble follower of him.

Maybe the application for you this morning is a little more, this worship aspect. These two women who worshiped with all that they’ve been given as a grace recipient. God meets you the songs of Mary and Elizabeth pouring out their worship and surrender in the presence of God. And though you and I often surrender most times out of powerlessness or like we’ve come to the end of our rope.

What if we began our day on the carpet, humbled hands open before we go out, we say, God, it’s all yours. Let it be to me, whatever you have for me this day, it’s yours, I’m yours. It’s possible. As you read this account, you’ve considered the life of Marion. Um, as a child, as a 13 year old, she is not to be worshiped.

She’s not to be prayed to or asked for help. She would. And has this morning even spoken that that all of the power is in. She’s a vessel that God chose and used to enter the world. I wonder if Mary’s life up to this point is part of the application and the takeaway for me this morning. It seems as if Mary’s way had been steeped in being in God’s word all along, you see the Magnificant the song that she sang was rooted in scripture.

It’s all the Psalms she’s singing words back to God that have been recorded in scripture. Possibly. This is part of Mary’s way of life that she knew the scriptures and it became her language as she worshiped. Maybe it’s the way we celebrate advent this year. Possibly the very best thing we could do is to contemplate who this Jesus is and celebrate him actively in our families, in our homes with our friends, receiving Jesus.

John. Wesley has a quote that I hate, but I have to read it. It says this nothing is more repugnant to capable reasonable people than grace at Christmas. The baby comes and says, would you receive the life that I can give you? Would you receive forgiveness? And many of us capable reasonable people think, no, no, no, no.

We’ve got to earn this. You’ve got to do all these things to make our way back to God. And he’s saying, would you just receive this gift? That’s been given his invitation to broken sinners and overly religious people is the same receive. I am sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in your weakness.

I’m going to ask you to stand this morning. As we close our service. It’s a commission us as we go from here, knowing these things and living them out.

May you receive with open hands, the grace of God this week, wherever you are in life, whatever you’re walking through right now, whatever lies ahead, might you contemplate and celebrate Jesus with the words of Mary song, my soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God. My savior father, we worship you this morning.

You are king, and we thank you for the season to celebrate Christ in whose name we pray. Amen. Amen. Thanks for being here this morning. You are dismissed.