Mary Sings (Luke 1:39-56)

Angel Announces – MARY SINGS – Joseph Prays – Shepherds Come – God with Us – Kings Journey

This week we continue the journey of God's people to the manger of Bethlehem.  Last week we recalled Luke's story of how Mary received a word from God through the angel Gabriel that she was: (1) not to fear because she has found favor with God, (2) going to bring God's son into the world to show God's identification with those created in God's-self image (Imago Dei), and (3) that this son would be fully human (100% human) and fully divine (100% God).

This week we turn to Mary's encounter with her older cousin Elizabeth.  Gabriel consoled Mary as he announced that she would give birth with the news that Elizabeth and Zechariah, who many thought would never be able to have children, had been already blessed with the coming birth of a son.  When Mary comes for a visit, the child leaps in Elizabeth's womb and a duet for the ages emerges:

39 In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40 where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42 and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43 And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44 For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would bee a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

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Angel Announces (Luke 1:26-38)

ANGEL ANNOUNCES – Mary Sings – Joseph Prays – Shepherds Come – God with Us – Kings Journey

My son and I were shopping at the Stuff-Mart this week (inspired by Veggie Tales' Madame Blueberry video).  William had some allowance money that was burning a hole in his pocket and he wanted to purchase several toys to round out his collection.  As we were comparing what pieces to buy he matter of factually pointed to one toy and announced: "that's what I am getting for Christmas."  I asked him how he knew this to which he confidently replied: "because its on my list."  When I asked with whom he had shared his list he said: "I'll put it together tomorrow!"  Now that's confidence!

Today we begin telling the familiar story of the Incarnation ("God becoming flesh and blood and moving into our neighborhood" as Eugene Peterson puts it).  This story begins with the angel Gabriel stepping into the life of a teenage girl named Mary living in the tiny village of Nazareth located in the outer limits of the King Herod's Judea, a backwater place within the mighty Roman empire.  This is how Luke tells the story:

Continue reading “Angel Announces (Luke 1:26-38)”