Mary, Rejoicing in God’s Mercy and Love
“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed.” (Luke 1:46-48)
“Love is blind.” At least, that is how the saying goes. The phrase means that when love is in play, a person is prone to overlook, or just plain fail to see, the problems within the person being loved. There is some truth to that, but the kind of love we all deeply desire is a love that truthfully sees everything about us and still loves us. Love that is blind – that turns away from reality – is false love, while love that sees – that leans into reality – is real love.
John 3:16 is such a well-known Scripture passage because it describes God’s love as real love. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:16-17). In the midst of a world stuck in the cycle of death, Jesus the Son of God comes to bring liberating life. Even as the world could potentially be condemned because of evil and injustice, God takes a different route by sending Jesus to save the world. Jesus Himself echoes this later when He says, “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). We see in Jesus the Messiah that God’s love is an eyes-open love, leaning into the reality of our world and our lives. Jesus shows us just how far God will go to hold us in His loving embrace.
When the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, announcing God’s plan to bring the Messiah to birth through her, Mary was astounded. Her question, “How will this be?”, was both a question about the manner of the Messianic birth since she was a virgin and simultaneously a question about the possibility that something like this could occur in human history. When Gabriel emphasized God’s decisive plan to intervene through Jesus as Messiah, such knowledge eventually leads Mary to erupt with praise: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation” (Luke 1:46-47, 50).
That little word ‘mercy’ is an echo of the Hebrew word hesed, which refers to God’s uniquely steady and faithful love. Mary grasps, and shares with us today, that God sees what is really there in the world and still chooses to love humanity from generation to generation throughout the earth. Mary becomes a picture not only of humble obedience to God’s call, but also boisterous praise of God’s love. As we draw close to Christmas Day, let us join Mary’s wondrous call to praise our God whose love is not blind, but rather eyes-open about us and our world. Let us draw near with anticipation to experience once again the tenderly tenacious love of God found in Jesus the Messiah.
“My Soul Glorifies the Lord” (Magnificat)
This past weekend at Eastbrook, we continued our journey of Advent and preaching series entitled “Canticles of Christmas” This second week of the series Kelly Erickson preached from Luke 1:46-55 on Mary’s song of praise in light of Gabriel’s announcement that we explored last week.
You can find the message outline and video below. You can access the entire series here. Join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.
“And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.’” (Luke 1:46-48)
Mary Visits Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-45)
She goes with haste 80-100 miles south
Both ladies are full of the Holy Spirit
The older blesses the younger three times
Elizabeth names the truth of the Messiah in Mary’s womb
Mary’s Song – The Magnificat (Luke 1:46-49)
Mary is young and under the rule of the Roman Empire
Parallelism in how Mary takes great joy in her God
Mary contrasts herself with God
Mary Sings of the Upside-Down Kingdom (Luke 1:50-55)
Gives a picture of the New Kingdom created by Jesus
Shocking new order
Continues a pattern from the Old Testament (1 Samuel 2:1-8)
The prophets predicted this sort of kingdom (Joel 2:28-29)
This week dig deeper in one or more of the following ways:
- Spend time taking great joy in Jesus. Exalt Him; magnify Him; adore Him. Let His character overwhelm you.
- Practice silence. Come into God’s presence, not needing to speak, but just to be with Him. What do you see? What do you hear when you stop talking?
- Practice Noticing. Notice what God does. Notice His actions, His fingerprints on creation, His presence in others, and His goodness in your everyday interactions with others.
Eastbrook at Home – December 4, 2022
Join us for worship with Eastbrook Church through Eastbrook at Home at 8, 9:30, and 11 AM. This weekend we continue the journey of Advent and our preaching series entitled “Canticles of Christmas.”
Here is a prayer for this second Sunday of Advent from The Book of Common Prayer:
Blessed Lord, who caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and the comfort of your holy Word we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
If you are able to do so, let me encourage you to join us for in-person services at 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00 AM this weekend at the Eastbrook Campus.
If you are new to Eastbrook, we want to welcome you to worship and would ask you to text EBCnew to 94000 as a first step into community here at Eastbrook.
Each Sunday at 8, 9:30, and 11 AM, you can participate with our weekly worship service at home with your small group, family, or friends. This service will then be available during the week until the next Sunday’s service starts. You can also access the service directly via Vimeo, the Eastbrook app, or Facebook.
If you are not signed up for our church emailing list, please sign up here. Also, please remember that during this time financial support for the church is critical as we continue minister within our congregation and reach out to our neighborhood, city, and the world at this challenging time. Please give online or send in your tithes and offerings to support the ministry of Eastbrook Church.