Sermons

Summary: 1) Attitude (Luke 1:46–48a), 2) Object (Luke 1:46b, 47b), and 3) Motive of Joyful Worship (Luke 1:48b-55).

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It is always a delight to hear of an unknown story related to a familiar event. Paul Harvey made a living of this with his "Rest of the Story" programs. The Rest of the Story was a Monday-through-Friday radio program originally hosted by Paul Harvey. Beginning as a part of his newscasts during the Second World War and then premiering as its own series on the ABC Radio Networks on May 10, 1976, The Rest of the Story consisted of stories presented as little-known or forgotten facts on a variety of subjects with some key element of the story (usually the name of some well-known person) held back until the end. The broadcasts always concluded with a variation on the tag line "And now you know the rest of the story." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rest_of_the_Story)

From the 1950s through the 1990s, Harvey's programs reached as many as 24 million people a week. He was so familiar with scripture that he was able to draw out biblical lessons out of familiar stories, so that if you didn't even own a copy of the bible, you could scriptural truths.

Mary was a young girl, perhaps about thirteen years old who, like all the people of her day, had no personal copy of the Scriptures. Her familiarity with the Word of God must have come from hearing it read regularly in the synagogue (cf. 4:16). It settled in her heart and was readily on her mind when she opened her mouth in worshipful praise.Mary is an example to all believers of faith, humility, and submission to God’s will. This section of Luke’s gospel reveals that she also modeled true, acceptable worship. After hearing the astonishing news from the angel Gabriel that she was to be the mother of the Messiah, Mary immediately went to visit her older relative Elizabeth, who was six months pregnant with John the Baptist (1:36). There God confirmed that His promise to her through Gabriel would indeed come to pass (1:39–45). God’s confirmation erased Mary’s doubts, answered her questions, and strengthened her faith. Verses 46–55, known as the Magnificat (from the first word of the Latin text), record her outburst of praise and worship in response. Mary’s hymn is filled with allusions to Scripture, revealing that her heart and mind were saturated with the Old Testament.

How can we share the joy of Christmas with those unfamiliar with biblical truths. Without even realizing it, our consciences, laws, carols and events show forth biblical realities. When we recognize the God intended truths from these elements, we can casually, compassionately and joyfully proclaim the realities of God. It means however that we are familiar with Him and we have a heart and life saturated with a all consuming, continual worship of Him.

Mary’s praise in Luke 1:46-55 is the expression of her faith in God, her love for Him, and her deep understanding of Scripture. The result is an example of worship for all believers to emulate, as she displays the 1) Attitude (Luke 1:46–48a), 2) Object (Luke 1:46b, 47b), and 3) Motive of Joyful Worship (Luke 1:48b-55).


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