Sermon for Jericho Road Church on December 18th, 2016. Notes below:
Luke chapter 1, verses 39 to 56:
In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him.
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones.
and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home. (39-56)
Mary had experienced the invisible God entering her visible world. Not only was she now pregnant, despite never having known a man, but her relative Elizabeth blessed her and her child upon simply seeing her. God was making good on his word.
Mary couldn’t help herself but to worship, singing of her God’s goodness and mercy, magnifying him for his future goodness. She sang in the past tense, as if it had already happened, absolutely sure of her God’s trustworthiness.
The invisible in everyday life
A common place we see the invisible God entering our visible world is at camp. My last year as a counselor at Redeemer Community Church’s summer youth camp, God showed up in some profound ways.
Ashok, a refugee, opened up one night in the cabin about his struggles at home. He felt drawn to Jesus, but his family were devout Muslims, opposed to Christianity. His father had burned a Bible that was gifted to Ashok.
Not knowing what to do, all I could suggest was to pray. We gathered around Ashok and asked God to soften his family, drawing them all to Jesus. Later that fall I was able to FaceTime with Ashok and rejoice with him that his family had gotten saved.
Our hope in Jesus
Jesus incarnated into the world. The invisible Word became flesh and dwelt among us. He did this so that we could know grace and peace and reconciliation. By his death on the cross, we’ve now been set free. He is our reason to worship.