The passage of Scripture before us is one of beautiful Worship. The kind that can only be fueled by intimate knowledge of God’s personal involvement in one’s life and the enablement of The Holy Spirit.
SCRIPTURE READING: Luke 1:39-56, ESV
MARY’S FAITH IN ACTION
Just a few days after Gabriel’s visit to Mary, she sets out on a journey to see her relative Elizabeth. WHY did she do that? Elizabeth’s conception was THE SIGN Gabriel gave Marty to encourage her to believe that nothing is impossible with God.
TRUTH POINT: Mary’s trip to see Elizabeth demonstrates the FAITH she placed in the message received from God through Gabriel.
True FAITH always leads to ACTION! James 2:14-18
Mary’s FAITH was demonstrated, not just by her words of surrender, but by her feet of action taking her to see Elizabeth, to rejoice in God’s good favor on her and to share her own miraculous news.
ELIZABETH REJOICES IN GOD’S BLESSING OF MARY
I find 3 pronouncements of blessing pouring out of Elizabeth.
1. BLESSED ARE YOU… MARY.
In his commentary on Luke, Dr. Kent Hughes reminds us in that day women did not enjoy high status on the social ladder. It was rare for any woman to be seen as great or blessed in her own right. Her status came from who she was married to or even more important, who her children became.
The blessedness of Mary was NOT in who she was, but in who her Son IS. He is blessed because He is God and she is blessed in that God chose her to bring the Messiah into the world.
2. BLESSED AM I… ELIZABETH.
Although she was the elder and had received a miracle in her own right, Elizabeth does not focus on herself, nor the blessing of her pregnancy, but on that of Mary.
She pronounces Mary’s baby as MY LORD! She points to John’s leaping in her womb, as she hears the greeting of Mary, as confirmation that this is fact
Remember that John’s ministry was to prepare a people to receive the Messiah. It seems that he was already being used of God to do that, with his mother, in her womb.
3. BLESSED IS SHE… MARY.
Elizabeth blesses Mary again, this time NOT for being the mother of The Messiah, but for her FAITH.
Mary received God’s message as fact. She didn’t understand how, when or perhaps even why, but she received his message and submitted herself to God’s plan.
It’s a FACT: many blessings can only be received through submission.
We don’t like that word because we see it as being a “door-mat” “weak” or “miss-used” in some way and that is likely true when submission for forced.
But God doesn’t call for a forced submission, He calls us to self-submission that is based on LOVE – knowledge that He knows and wants what is best for us.
Believing this to be true, we surrender our lives to that LOVE and see His will done in our lives. 1 Peter 5:6-7
TRUTH POINT: Hearing the word and receiving it is NOT the same. Many “hear” God’s Word with no impact because they ignore, dismiss or reject it. For the Word to have its transformative power, it must be received.
Mary, with childlike FAITH, received the word of God and the result was blessing, not only for her, but everyone one who receives God’s Word by FAITH.
After Elizabeth takes a break from her heartfelt worship of God and pronouncements of blessing upon Mary, Mary breaks forth in a song of praise to God. It’s become known as Mary’s Magnificat and that will have to wait till next Sunday.
What can’t wait until next Sunday is our own personal recognition of the blessing of God’s love for us. He sent His Son into the world, becoming like one of us, that He might redeem us from sin’s curse.
The story of Jesus’ conception and birth are filled with wonderment and joy. A blessing to contemplate. But the ultimate purpose of His coming is filled with much pain and suffering.
Jesus said it best: 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
The Apostle Paul received this revelation from God concerning that ransom: 21 For our sake He (The Father) made Him (The Son) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him (Christ) we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21
This is THE GOSPEL!
Good News that God poured out His judgement and wrath for sin on Jesus, so that sin’s debt could be paid and freedom from guilt and condemnation could be had by anyone who would call on the name of Christ in repentance and faith. When we do, we are empowered to receive forgiveness of sin and adoption into the family of God
This is what excited Elizabeth. God’s Messiah is finally here! God’s redemptive plan is beginning!
Have you received God’s gift of salvation in your life? Today He is calling you to turn from sin and self to Jesus
Embrace Him and you will have Eternal Life
Have you already embraced Him?
Let your heart soar with JOY that His Love would reach down to a lowly sinners like you and me and lift us up to be His own beloved children
That is what The Heart of Worship is all about.