Summary: The central characters in the Christmas story almost instantly responded to the events surrounding the birth of Jesus with songs.
The Songs of Christmas
Sermon # 2
Luke 1:28-35, 46-55
Last week we began a series entitled “The Songs of Christmas.” We are examining some of the central characters of Christmas and noting that they responded to the exciting events of the first Christmas, with songs of praise. It is my hope that our study will allow us to regain the wonder and excitement of Christmas that we may have lost.
We began last week with a look at “Elizabeth’s Song,” and saw how Elizabeth burst into joyful song when confronted with the wonderful prospect of the Savior’s birth. Today we want to backtrack just a bit to establish the scene as we look at, “Mary’s Song.”
In order to look at the songs as they occur we have move back and forth in the sequence of events. The angel had appeared to Mary and told her the great news that she is to be the mother of Jesus, the savior of mankind. Almost immediately Mary left her home and traveled to the home of her cousin, Elizabeth who was also pregnant with a miracle child, John. When Mary arrives Elizabeth greets her with a song of reassurance and encouragement. Now Mary still with her cousin, Elizabeth breaks out into a song of worship to God for his greatness.
How do we know what we find recorded here is a song? In the Greek text, it is arranged into lyrics just like the Psalms which are the songs of the Old Testa-ment. In fact you can’t help but notice that Mary’s Song reads like one of the Psalms. Mary actually quotes five of the biblical psalms in her song. This praise song is sometimes called the “Magnificat” a title taken from the first word of the Latin version.
This morning as we examine “Mary’s Song” I want you to see that Mary has much to teach about worship
First, Mary Worships God Even Though She Was Confused and Perplexed. (1:28-35)
First, lets return to the angels original appear-ance to Mary recorded in Luke 1:28, “And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!" (29) But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. (30) Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. (31) And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. (32) He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. (33) And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end." (34) Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?" (35) And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.”
In the last message we looked at some of the wrong things that are taught about Mary; that Christian should pray to here because she is the Mediator, belief about her immaculate conception, her assumption, and that she was a perpetual virgin all of her life. All of these things would have offended the humble heart of Mary. It is interesting to consider what Mary’s own reaction to people who seek her, pray to her, or worship her would be. Perhaps it would be the same that she gave to a servant who came seeking her advice and counsel at the wedding in Cana. Mary responded by sending him to Jesus and saying, “do as he tells you.” (John 2:5)
The announcement of the birth of the Savior came after four hundred years of silence from God. And I don’t want to overlook the fact that the announce-ment to Mary that she was “blessed among women” by the angel cause her some discomfort.
Perhaps we should stop and reflect on the time and place that Mary uttered this song of praise. She was in Elizabeth’s little home. Sometimes people think the only place to worship is the church and the only time to worship is on Sunday. Anytime and any-place is proper setting for worship. You can worship God wherever and whenever you decide to free up your spirit to do so. I will even go so far as to suggest that a great time to worship God is when you face troubling circumstances in your life. It’s easy to worship God when everything is going great for you, but what about when your life seems to be falling apart? When your life is pain-free, worship is a luxury but worship is a necessity when you are struggling.