When the angel of the Lord announced to the shepherds the birth of Christ, their circumstances, closeness to the event and the change it brought about gave them a special perspective on this first Christmas.
There is a sense of anticipation for Simeon and Anna as they beheld the infant Christ on his day of dedication in the temple because he was the fulfillment of God's promise both to the world and to them.
This sermon considers the Gospel account of the Annunciation and the Magnificat. Luke’s account presents God’s Word to Mary and her response. God’s Word and God’s call has come to each one of us, just as it came to Mary. Each one of us must respond, just as Mary did. She shows us how to respond: we surrender to God’s calling and we glorify him and rejoice in him.
As a priest in the temple; the father of John the Baptist; the husband of Elizabeth, a relative of Mary; and, like Mary, also a recipient of a visit by the angel Gabriel; Zechariah was given a very unique perspective on the coming of the Messiah.
Luke's gospel gives us a rare view of the early life of Jesus and his family.
John was a man sent from God as a purposeful gift. He was filled with the Holy Spirit from his birth.
When you deny judgment to a transcendant God at the end of history, final judgment is sought under the kingdom of man.
The Bible gives us a big story about reality, beginning with paradise lost in Adam's Fall and culminating with paradise restored by Christ's redemption in the cross. God's people cannot merely admire the gospel; we need to rest in it, entrusting our whole beings to God in Christ.
It was with finality and authorty that God spoke to us by His Son. Old Testament prophecy culminated with the birth of a child who changed everything. With Christ's cradle, grave and resurrection everything is being recreated.
The prophetic expectation of the Old Testament was salvation through the Messiah, the seed of the woman, and all history finally focuses in on that moment of promise to Mary. The incarnation is the great miracle of the Bible to which all previous miracles point and all that follow spring from. Christianity is the story of one grand miracle — the incursion and invasion of God into human history in the person of His Son.
Trusting Christ makes us God's children. Like the prodigal son, when we confess, "Father, I've sinned against heaven and against you," He will receive us with rejoicing.