Summary: God’s selection of a common girl offers guidance for our service, and hope for our effort in Christ.
Christmas Series One
MARY -- "I’M AVAILABLE"
Hope Christian Church
November 30, 2003
Dr. David L. Haun
Take a moment to remember when you were 14 years old. It was an awkward time (though you didn’t think so then). Your hormones were doing funny things. Your voice and your body was changing, and there was such a hurry to grow up, stay out late, and be on your own. You were in junior high. You couldn’t legally drive yet, but you were longing for the day. You still lived at home, and wondered how it could be that you know so much more about so many things than your parents. Take a moment to think: what if you had experienced at 14 what Mary did when she was that age? For Mary was chosen by God to be part of a most amazing drama. (1)
Our Scripture today is found in selected portions in the first chapter of Luke:
26 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
34 "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"
35 The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. ... 37 For nothing is impossible with God."
38 "I am the Lord’s servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.
... 46 And Mary said: "My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me - holy is his name. Luke 1:26-35, 37-38, 46-49 (NIV)
MARY WAS A COMMON ORDINARY GIRL, WHO COULD HAVE PLAYED IN THE BAND AT OUR LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL.
A. She was chosen but she was not divine.
1. There is a temptation sometimes to give items of God’s creation more significance than we should.
Angels are an important part of God’s plan, but they are created by God for one purpose: to serve God as God desires. If they are involved in the lives of humanity, it is because God has placed them there. So, it is God that we honor, not an angel.
2. In the same way, a national publication in 1997 reported that a movement had been born among some Roman Catholics to petition the Papal Father to decare Mary the "Co-Redeemer, Mediator of all Graces, and Advocate for the People of God. (2)
3. A fellow pastor, Brian Bill, who helped me in thinking through today’s sermon, writes that "Mary was special, but she has no place in our redeption. It is only by the shed blood of Jesus that you and I can have forgiveness of sin and open access to God the Father. Mary needed to have her sins forgiven, just like we do. Don’t give to Mary that which belongs only to Jesus." (3)
4. However, she is God’s chosen for a special blessing, and deserves more remembrance than an occasional picture on a Christmas Card.
B. We know five things about Mary. (4)
1. She was a teen ager. - Most scholars indicate between 13 and 15 years of age.
2. She was a virgin. - This was pointed out three times in the Scripture
3. She was from a middle class family. - Engaged to carpenter / businessman
4. She was a devout believer in God.
5. She was engaged to be married.
C. Mary was approached by the angel Gabriel and given a most shocking message.
1. You are highly favored. - That was good news
2. The Lord is with you. - This was exciting news
3. You’re going to have a baby. - This was the problem...