26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be.30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 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, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
35 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. 36 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. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 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.
39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
Mary’s Song of Praise: The Magnificat
46 And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
In this week’s message, Pastor Chris encouraged us to mirror Mary in this Christmas season. He urged us to learn from Mary as she responded to God’s call on her life. By the world’s standards, Mary had nothing. She was a 12-14 year old girl in small town with no social status. However, God said that she was perfect. At Christmas, we are invited to walk the joy-filled road of Mary.
5 Thoughts on how to live in light of this good new of great joy – How did Mary respond?
- Mary received – Luke 1:28-30
- She received a word, plan, and vision for her life from God. Like us, Mary surely had a plan for her own life, but God showed up in a divine encounter and entrusted her with His very own son.
- There is a tension, because often we have a plan for life until God intervenes and invites us to align with His vision. Mary was positioned for such an encounter and for the receiving of grace.
- Mary wondered. – Luke 1:31-38
- It is okay to audit, to weigh, and to ponder God’s calling on your life. Mary was greatly troubled and tried to discern what kind of greeting this was.
- Mary would have contemplated the prophecies of the Old Testament:
- “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15
- “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14
- There is closed-minded doubt and open-minded doubt. Closed-minded doubt responds in unbelief, while open-minded doubt says “help me in my unbelief”.
- The Angel says, “do not fear”, not that there is nothing to fear. Mary recognized she didn’t need to fear because she found favor (grace). When we live this way, it breaks anxiety.
- In verse 38, Mary responds with “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”
- Mary Surrendered and Believed. – Luke 1:39-45
- Genuine Christianity displays humility. It says, “I can’t do this alone” and chooses to partner with God. Pastor Chris called this “grounded obedience”.
- Mary believed in, not just about.
- Mary Celebrated. – Luke 1: 46-49
- Mary’s Song of Praise: The Magnificat.
- When surrender and belief come together, it produces celebration.
- To magnify is to make big. Whatever we magnify will control us.
- Mary Pondered. – Luke 2:19, Luke 2:51
- What do you think about? Whatever it is will control you. Mary pondered the promises of God. When we follow God, He lets us in on what He is doing.
- Mary treasured the things of the Lord.
- Why do you think God chose Mary for this task?
- Do you think Jesus learned how to serve and surrender from his mom?
- What happens to Mary is very personal, but it’s also for us today. How do you think this story is for you?
- Whose plan or vision are you fulfilling over your life? Would you say you are walking on God’s road or your own road?
- What have you been magnifying in your life?