Summary: A brief talk to go with my order of service (also on SermonCentral) for a Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion Service

Christmas Eve 2005 mini-talk on Mary- the Magnificat

Traditionally, on 4th Sunday of Advent we look at Mary, as well

- this remarkable little girl who carried the gospel, carried the bread of life

Frederick Buechner’s little book of character sketches of people from the Bible has this to say about the angel Gabriel as he encounters Mary:

"She struck him as hardly old enough to have a child at all, let alone this child. But he had been entrusted with a message to give her, and he gave it. He told her what the child was to be named, who he was to be, and something about the mystery that was to come upon her.

’You mustn’t be afraid, Mary,’ he said. As he said it, he only hoped she wouldn’t notice that beneath the great golden wings, he himself was trembling with fear to think that the whole future of Creation hung on the answer of a girl."

SOURCE: Frederick Buechner in Peculiar Treasures.

Contributed by: D. Greg Ebie on

Her willingness, her openness- means our salvation

- our salvation hung on the qualities of a little girl (as she could have said ’no’, and God would have had to find someone else)

o I don’t believe God forces His will on us- and I do believe (from our perspective) event the prophetic future is conditional and flexible

Her openness shown in Lk 2;38 "I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said"

But also in the Magnificat (’My soul magnifies’)

- I remember a little girl saying: "when Mary heard that she was the mother of Jesus she sang the Magna Carta"

Her wisdom, the wisdom of a holy and special child, as portrayed in this exclamation tells us a lot of how we can receive and be used, ourselves

- she is fixed on bringing glory to God. Magnifying Him

- she is HUMBLE. That’s the key characteristic, isn’t it?

o humble and knows it. (wow! Not false humility)

o "For He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant"

- she knows that God can do great things "the mighty one has done great things for me")

- and He does it out of His mercy. Which extends to those that fear Him from generation to generation

And then she’s back again to why God has chosen to use her, and not some philosopher, king or celebrity

- "He has scattered those who are proud in their innermost thoughts"

- what insight!

- The more we know, the more we grow (in our culture)- the more we become concerned about us… ourselves…

o Wrapped up in our own thoughts… philosophies, wisdom

" Introspective. Indulgent? Inneffective?

o But the work and word of God comes to humble children (not that He’s against wisdom- but He is for HIS wisdom. Mary is wise- but it’s God’s wisdom)

" Those who say "yes, Lord"

One of the shortest Psalms:

PS 131:1 My heart is not proud, O LORD,

my eyes are not haughty;

I do not concern myself with great matters

or things too wonderful for me.

PS 131:2 But I have stilled and quieted my soul;

like a weaned child with its mother,

like a weaned child is my soul within me.

PS 131:3 O Israel, put your hope in the LORD

both now and forevermore.

Mary’s wisdom, usefulness and secret is summarised in one profound statement

- "He brings down rulers from their thrones- but lifts up the humble"

Oh, Lord- may we learn from your mother!

- this Christmas may we step of the throne.. and take human wisdom off the throne

- and put you there

- may we humble ourselves so you can

o lift us up

o come into our lives

o use us to glorify yourself

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