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Summary: This sermon looks at the angel’s visit to Mary and lessons we can learn from Mary’s response.

AM sermon preached at Central Christian Church December 11, 2005

Touched By An Angel sermon series #1 “Mary, I Guess You Did Know…”

Luke 1:26-48

What do you think of when you first hear the word angel? [ANGEL SLIDE 1] Do you think of a heavenly being with large feathery wings sitting around on a cloud playing a harp or flute? [ANGEL SLIDE 2] Do you think of the bumbling lovable Clarence Oddbody from the movie It’s a Wonderful Life with his AS2 ranking and hopes to get his wings? [ANGEL SLIDE 3] Do you think of a guardian angel keeping watch over a child? [ANGEL SLIDE 4] Do you think of cute chubby gentle looking at times almost naked baby cherubs or [ANGEL SLIDE 5] do you think of menacing awesome sword bearing powerful creatures? About that video clip we watched ---I can honestly say that while I like the biblical accuracy of it--- I had never before thought of the possibility of that angels might have a fro thing going on. The hair on that angel in the clip was something else, wasn’t it?

[SERMON SERIES SLIDE….NOTE---IT WILL MOVE AHEAD AUTOMATICALLY TO TITLE SLIDE]

Today I’m beginning a Christmas sermon series called touched by and angel. And I want you to know upfront that the focus of this series is not going to be on angels. Sure I’ll be talking a little about them and you may learn something new about them along the way---but as we journey together through some of the events surrounding the birth of Jesus and as we look at some of the people involved in those things--- my intention will be to keep Jesus at the center of things.

If you listen to Christmas music on the radio then you’ve probably heard the song titled “Mary did you know?” And I guess in light of the fact Mary had an angel announce to her that her child would be the Son of the Most High we’d have to say---Mary I guess you did know…

Instead of rereading the scripture passage which was narrated on the video we watched, I want us to pick up Mary’s story where the video left off. The Bible tells us that after the angel left Mary, she went to pay Elizabeth a visit. Here’s what we read in Luke chapter one beginning at verse 39

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!"

46And Mary said:

"My soul glorifies the Lord

47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

48for he has been mindful

of the humble state of his servant.

From now on all generations will call me blessed,

49for the Mighty One has done great things for me—

holy is his name.

50His mercy extends to those who fear him,

from generation to generation.

51He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;

he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.

52He has brought down rulers from their thrones

but has lifted up the humble.

53He has filled the hungry with good things

but has sent the rich away empty.

54He has helped his servant Israel,

remembering to be merciful

55to Abraham and his descendants forever,

even as he said to our fathers."

56Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home. [BLANK SLIDE]

Joseph who had thought about divorcing Mary because he assumed she had been unfaithful to him is also visited by an angel. We’ll be looking at that angelic visit next week. For now I’ll just simply say that the angel that visited Joseph set him straight about Mary’s pregnancy. So Mary becomes Joseph’s wife---then there’s that trip to Bethlehem mandated by the census the government decided to take. Mary gives birth to Jesus while they’re in Bethlehem---and that very night shepherds show up gawking---they talk about angels appearing to them and tell what the angels said about the baby Mary had given birth to. It was indeed a special night filled with wonderful awesome moments. And Luke 2:19 records Mary’s response to the birth of Jesus and the shepherds visit this way, “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

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