MAGNIFICAT (Podcast)

Magnificat—The Song Mary Sings after she agrees to serve God in a very significant way. It makes me think of last week if you were here you heard a great message from Bobby Hantelman (our incoming Lay Leader) celebrating the Laity of our congregation. He spoke of transformation that has been experienced by individuals & by the congregation as a whole. All by doing the same thing Mary was asked to do (serve) and then complying. Just as Mary did..and we rejoice just like her. 

In Luke’s telling of this story he records: 

In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph

 Now for most of us we are very familiar with the Xmas story…the idea that Jesus was prophesied to be born from a virgin…problem—no word for Virgin (as we know it)…the Greek word is the same found by comparing the LXX (Septuagint-Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible) from Isaiah’s prophecy. Isaiah foretold Jesus birth saying: 

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a  son, and will call him Immanuel.  Isaiah 7:14 

The Hebrew word used here is the word translated “Virgin” means Very Pure. I remember several years ago doing the South Beach Diet. The author said use Olive Oil (in almost everything). Then I went to the store and there was…Olive Oil, Virgin Olive Oil & Extra Virgin (Extra Pure). A place for Jesus to be born “Extra Pure”…before there was a stable or a manger..there was Mary.

 

Then Luke introduces us to this person who would be called by God for a very special task. Luke tells us:   

The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored!  The Lord is with you.”   Luke 1:27-28 

Highly Favored…(In Greek Charitoō χαριτόω )More Grace that you can imagine. The great mnemonic for me to remember this is my granddaughter Karis (meaning Grace) and the vehicle her parents bought to cart Karis around was..A Tahoe) So..Karis-Tahoe. Maybe this is the theme of Christmas. God has sent his son to the world. Emmanuel…more Grace than we can imagine. 

Then Luke continues showing the significance of Mary’s favor. He writes: 

You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.  Luke 1:31 

We discover that Mary is to give the child the name…Jesus (in English) Yeshua (Hebrew-meaning the one who saves/or savior) we generally don’t think of babies or little kids as saviors…but how many of us when we were kids (maybe when our mother wasn’t looking ) grabbed a towel & a clothes pin & pretended to be super heroes???  Jesus/Yeshua, would be …& Is The savior of the World. 

In the Midst of all this is Mary..a Young Girl (specifically chosen by God) & Is the case with many teenagers she has her doubts…Luke tells us: 

How will this be,” Mary asked the angel ? Luke 1:34a 

What would our response be? Does this ever happen to us. Are there events…circumstances in our lives that we question God? When WE have OUR Doubts? Then God comes through with answered prayer after answered prayer…And you may ask how? God answers our prayers the same way he answered Mary’s. When we surrender our fear..our doubt to him. When we learn to rely on him..and he offers the same help he gives to Mary—Luke says:

 

 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.    Luke 1: 35 

The Holy Spirit-the one who transforms our lives…makes a way where there isn’t a way. Brings to mind things we need to pray for..to ask for. The same Holy Spirit that allowed Bobby to talk about how he have each observed  the Holy Spirit working in their lives and in others in our congregation. 

Then finally Luke shows us how a Young Girl makes a very mature decision as an example for us all. Luke records: 

I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her. Luke 1:38 

I am the Lord’s servant—So many of us have heard that call and are hearing that call. Many people stepping into new roles the beginning  next year. What a great time of Celebration as we serve God together in this place. Just like Mary with the help of The Holy Spirit…We answer His Call and say..I am the Lord’s Servant..May it be as you have said. For the Glory of God.