Summary: This sermon emphasizes that God still does the impossible!
Do You See What I See?
Do You See What Gabriel Saw?
December 21, 2003
A. [The Bike Before Christmas, unknown]
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through our house
Not a creature was sleeping, not even my spouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with screws.
(If you can’t find the nails, what else do you use?)
The children were restless, awake in their beds,
While visions of spanking them danced in our heads.
I worked in my bathrobe. My husband, in jeans,
Had gone down to the den with directions and dreams.
To assemble a bike that came in small pieces
With deflated tires and fenders with creases.
Soon down in the den there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from task to see what was the matter.
Away to my husband I flew like a flash;
He was shuffling through cardboard; his actions were rash.
The bike on the rug by this now-flustered dad
Soon gave me a hint as to why he was mad.
He needed a kickstand. It had to be near.
I shuffled some papers—he saw it appear!
We twisted the screws; we were lively and quick,
And we soon knew assembly would be quite a trick.
Fast as eagles in flight the pieces were found,
And he whistled and shouted for parts all around:
“Now socket! Now pedal! Now tires! Now brakes!
On handles! On kick stand! On horn!…oh…but wait!”
In the top of the toolbox, he fumbled around;
“I need two more screws!” he said with a frown.
And like all good parents determined to please
When they meet with an obstacle on Christmas Eve,
We shouted and yelled some complaints to each other.
There was never more frustrated father and mother!
And then, in a panic, we heard on the stairs
The prancing and hopping of feet…’bout two pairs!
I opened the door and was turning around,
When kids bust from the hall with a leap and a bound.
They were dressed all in flannel, from their necks to their knees,
And their nightgowns were soiled with sugar and cheese!
Excuses poured forth from each pair of lips;
They stood in defiance with hands on their hips.
Their eyes were wide open, and each little child
Jumped when I yelled with a voice hardly mild.
They were frightened but cute, though not much bigger than elves,
And we laughed when we saw them, in spite of ourselves.
A wink of the eye and a pat on the head
Soon let them both know they had nothing to dread.
They saw not a thing but went straight to their beds,
And we finished the bike and put bows on the sleds.
Then wheeling the bike by the tree (out of sight),
My hubby announced we should call it a night.
He sprang to his bed, to the clock gave a whistle,
As the time had flown by like a large titan missile.
But I heard him exclaim as he turned out the light,
“Merry Christmas, my dear, but next year NO BIKE!”
B. Today, I want to look at Luke 1:26-38 and see if we can see what Gabriel saw.
1. [Read text]
2. I see three truths about God that Gabriel revealed to Mary, the first is…
I. Gabriel Revealed God’s Favor
Luke 1:28 (NIV), The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."
Luke 1:30 (NIV), But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.
A. Gabriel said twice that Mary was favored by God.
1. We read last week that God looked with favor on Abel’s offering, but not on Cain’s offering.
2. Today we see that God looked with favor upon Mary.
B. Now let me quickly clarify a few things.
1. God favored Mary, but she is not the co-redemtrix.
a. There are many who are pushing the Pope to make her the Co-redeemer (feminine: redemtrix).
b. John 14:6 (NIV), Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
c. Acts 4:12 (NIV), Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
d. Jesus is our only Savior; Jesus is our only redeemer.
e. Mary is not co-redemtrix, but she was highly favored.
2. God favored Mary, but she is not the One to whom we pray.
a. Matthew 6:9 (NIV), "This, then, is how you should pray: "’Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…”
b. We pray to our heavenly Father, not to Mary.
c. God favored Mary, but we do not pray to her.
3. God favored Mary, but she is not our intercessor between us and God.