Rejoice and Say Yes

Luke 1:26-38

Gabriel visits Mary with news about God’s plan for her and the salvation of all people. His greeting to Mary is usually translated as “Hail!” or “Greetings,” but the actual word in Luke 1:26 is “Rejoice!”

Outline

  1. Introduction: God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.
  2. Gabriel’s greeting
    1. Rejoice you have received grace and blessing from God
  3. What was the grace and blessing that Mary received?
    1. A child! But more than a child.
    1. Mary was chosen to be the means by which God entered the world to save us.
    1. God was at work to fulfill ancient promises.
      1. Front and center was Samuel’s prophecy that God would establish David’s throne forever.
      1. Unmentioned Isaiah’s prophecy of virgin birth
      1. Promises throughout the Old Testament of a savior who redeem his people.
  4. Mary’s response
    1. Curiosity (How will this be done?)
    1. Acceptance of the roll God had chosen for her. (Look, I’m God’s servant. Let’s do this.)
    1. Praise for the blessing she had received. (Magnificat)
    1. Daily, long-term, largely ordinary service.
      1. Pregnancy and delivery.
      1. Problems with family and Joseph
      1. Faithful observance
      1. Refugee in Egypt
      1. Had to let Jesus go as he grew older and began his ministry
      1. Stood by him when others turned against him
      1. Notice that her life involved sadness and challenges even though she was doing God’s will.
  5. We, also, have received grace and blessing
    1. God’s promises have been fulfilled.
      1. Christ’s birth, life, death, and resurrection
      1. God’s purpose fulfilled and communicated to you.
    1. You have been blessed with similar grace.
      1. Chosen by God to receive the blessings Christ brought (Ephesians 1:6)
      1. Blessed by grace to receive redemption and the forgiveness of your sins.
      1. Opportunity to participate in God’s work.
        1. Like Mary wrought through us by God’s Spirit.
  6. Our response
    1. Acceptance, praise, and daily service
    1. Perseverance in the face of challenges that arise
      1. Arise from the world we live in not from God’s attitude toward us
      1. If anything, they are an indication of the confidence that God places in us.
    1. God’s will and purpose will be accomplished in and through us, often in very ordinary ways.
    1. Therefore rejoice! Give thanks at all times and in all places and conditions.
  7. The Spirit of Christmas is one of joyful service to God. Let that joy and faithful service be part of your everyday life as you receive and live out the blessing of participating in God’s work.

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