Summary: ADVENT 4(C) - Do you hear what I hear - - God’s joyful promises and God’s voice of blessing?


LUKE 1:39-45 DECEMBER 22,2002

LUKE 1:39-45

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

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Dearest Redeemed and Fellow-Saints in the Lord:

During this Christmas season you and I get to hear all kinds of music, carols and hymns. We hear them so often and so much that it can be hard to pick out a favorite one. They are all beautiful in expressing coming closer to our Savior. Today, on our last Sunday in Advent, we realize it is a very short time before we celebrate Christmas itself and the birth of Christ the Lord. One of those Christmas carols is called ‘Do You Hear What I Hear?’ As we look at the verses, it starts by saying, ‘Do you see what I see?’ Then it goes on to say, ‘Do you hear what I hear?’ and ‘Do you know what I know?’ Of course, the answer is yes to all of those. The last verse says, ‘Then listen to what the Lord has to say.’ Today the Lord invites us to come near and listen to what He has to say. In Ecclesiastes we’re told, "Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong"(ECCLESIASTES 5:1). May the Lord work in us willing hearts and hearing ears, that we come near to listen. We ask ourselves in this season, ‘Do you hear what I hear?’


I. God’s joyful promises

II. God’s voice of blessing

I. God’s joyful promises

When we look at our text, we realize that is what Mary heard, that is what Elizabeth heard, God’s voice of joyful promises. We didn’t read all of chapter 1, but if you go back before the angel came to Mary, you would find the angel appearing to Zechariah. An angel appeared to Zechariah to tell him that he, Zechariah, would have a son (he and Elizabeth). After that, the angel went to Mary and Joseph. They were both excited for different reasons, both amazed for different reasons. Zechariah and Elizabeth were elderly and childless. They were beyond the normal range for bearing children. The angel said, ‘And you will give birth to a son and he will prepare the way for the Messiah.’ Then today we heard how the angel Gabriel came to Mary. Of course, she was amazed because she was not married.

Yet this news was more than just an earthly kind of news, an earthly blessing. It was something that would excite both of them, realizing that it was God’s voice of joyful promises. It was something that God could do and had done. As we heard in our gospel, nothing is impossible with God. In fact, Mary was so excited about this news, what does she do? 39At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. Elizabeth and Zechariah hadn’t shared much news that they were expecting a child. They didn’t want people to make fun of them, thinking they were not ‘all there’ because they were so old. Remember the angel told Mary, so Mary went there to visit Elizabeth, her cousin. We have to remember that she didn’t just jump in the car and drive over there; Mary had to get ready and walk there or maybe ride a donkey or horse. Generally, she probably walked and it took time. Joyfully this news that the angel told her, she realized that this was God’s voice of joyful promise. Even though she was unmarried, even though that was frowned upon (to be an unwed mother), she realized the Lord had chosen her to give birth to the Messiah. As she thought about that, she went to visit Elizabeth. Elizabeth confirmed it for her didn’t she? 41When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb. Mary heard God’s voice of joyful promise. Elizabeth heard God’s voice of joyful promises. John the Baptist, who wasn’t even born yet, heard the voice of God’s joyful promise and he even leaped for joy.

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Darlene Shackelford

commented on Dec 9, 2006

i really enjoyed this sermon we must hear the word that God is telling us

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