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"The Magnificat: THe Particulars of Praise" (Part I)

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Sermon shared by Quintin Morrow

December 2002
Summary: An exposition of the Magnificat, highlighting the primacy and particulars of praise.
Denomination: Episcopal/Anglican
Audience: General adults
praising the Lord. You recall that in Acts 16 Paul and Silas are arrested in Philippi, beaten half to death and thrown in prison. In verse 25 we read: “But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.” That’s worship.

I hear younger Episcopalians complain to me all the time: “Our services are boring.” Well, first of all, we come here to offer and not receive. Secondly, if we do not worship God individually during the week, we bring no gift to offer here on Sundays. Do you see that? Even the office of Morning Prayer tells us worship is a continuous endeavor for the believer. The title says “The Order for Daily Morning Prayer.” Worship at home all week. Bring that worship with you here on Sundays, and I assure you that worship here will not be boring.


Next Sunday we will conclude with a look at probably the most important part of the text; namely, the declarations of worship. Briefly, in verses 48-55, Mary reveals the object of worship—God and His marvelous character. She says He is holy, mighty, immutable (that is, never-changing), reliable, and a God who speaks. And finally, she reveals the cause of worship—God’s saving actions. Mary says that He elevates the humble—that God uses seeming nobodies like her, that He does great, public, verifiable things, that He humbles the proud, and always, always, always does what He promises. “God, remembering the promises He made to Abraham 3,000 years ago,” Mary says, “is fulfilling that promise in me now.”


It is my hope that you will have a ‘Mary’ Christmas. The Christmas spirit is the lost coming into a saving relationship with God through Jesus Christ so that they may join in the worship of this one, true, and living God. The Christmas spirit is God’s elect making good on their covenantal obligations to pick up their crosses and follow Him, to offer to God the sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that speak good of His name—worshipping the Lord in the beauty of holiness, in spirit and in truth, internally, intensely, continuously. Have a “Mary” Christmas this year. Come as is this humble, obedient, teenage virgin from Nazareth. Come saying, “Let it be done according to your word”: come worshipping Christ, this newborn king.

AMEN.

*I am extremely indebted to Dr. John MacArthur’s excellent message "The True Spirit of Christmas" (GC 80-152) for many of the statistics and points of this message.
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