I certainly missed being with you all in worship yesterday. I’m in the office today, and I can tell you that I believe it was a wise decision to call off services as the road in front of North Danvers is still quite slick as are the sidewalks around the building.
Without giving you the whole sermon I had planned for yesterday, I thought I would hit the major points today. Mary was the focus on the message. There is much more about Mary in the gospels than we find about Joseph. Given the culture of the first century, it is likely that Mary would have been quite young—probably a teenager, and that Joseph would have been somewhat older. That we never hear of Joseph after Luke’s account of when Jesus was twelve (Luke 2:41-52), causes many to believe that Joseph had died before Jesus began his ministry. When we think about Mary being young, it makes it that much more remarkable how she accepted the incredible message from the angel with such peace. So what can we learn from the mother of Jesus?
First, we see in Mary the example of humble submission to God’s will. As difficult as it must have been to believe this message, Mary accepts the role that God has for her humbly. Mary’s response to the angel is, “I am the Lord’s servant” (Luke 1:38, NIV 2011). When we consider the plans that God has for us, may we follow Mary’s example in humbly submitting ourselves to him.
Secondly, we see in Mary the example of God’s promises being fulfilled. The angel, Gabriel, says about Mary’s son, “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:32-33, NIV 2011). This is a fulfillment of the prophecy made to David in 2 Samuel 7. Then in Mary’s response she mentions that the promise that God made to Abraham in Genesis 12 is being fulfilled through this birth. That promise is that one of Abraham’s offspring would be a blessing to all people on the earth. These fulfilled promises give us confidence in God’s plan.
Thirdly, Mary is an example of someone through whom God blessed others. Because of her submission to God’s plan, many others—including us—were blessed. God has blessed us so abundantly and we remember that during this season when we think about the blessings we have received through Jesus. We must realize that God desires to bless others through us as well. We each have a part to play in allowing God’s blessing to flow through us to others. Especially in this season of giving, let’s think about those who have needs. We think of those with physical needs, certainly, but also consider those with emotional needs to whom we could reach out. Let’s remember those who have spiritual needs, including those who have yet to meet this one whom God sent to save us all. May we be a conduit of God’s blessing to others in this season.
A couple of important reminders of events this week. We will be meeting for a Christmas Eve service at 6:30pm on Saturday evening. Also remember that there is no Sunday School on Christmas Day, but instead we will be having a fellowship time at 9am, and then our worship service at 10:10am, after which we will be dismissed. This is a great time to invite friends, family, and neighbors to come celebrate the birth of Jesus with us.
Because of weather concerns this time of year, if you are not on our email/phone chain, this would be a great time to make sure that Terri either has your phone number or email.
God bless you all this Christmas season,