Last week we examined the announcement Elizabeth (John the Baptist’s mother) made regarding God’s blessing on the virgin Mary (Luke 1:39-46). In the sermon text for this Lord’s Day, Luke records Mary’s response to God’s incomprehensible miracle (Luke 1:46-56). It is a poetic work often called The Magnificat (a Latin translation of her opening word, “magnify,” see 1:46).
Her glorious poem “magnifies” the Lord for three characteristics: his holiness, might, and mercy. She spreads these praiseworthy attributes across three parts that show God’s mercy extended to Mary (46-49), to the human race in general (50-53), and Israel in particular (54-55). The hymn selection in our service will echo these themes.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Call to Worship Psalm 36:7-9
Prepared Music Sacrifice of Praise
Note: Mary magnified the name of God, her Savior. This hymn calls on all of us to join in worship directed toward her Son. It calls angels, martyrs, the elect of Israel and from every nation on this globe to join in the praise. It anticipates the day when we, with that “sacred throng,” fall at his feet to “crown Him Lord of all.”
Worship through Giving
Response: Psalm 100
Hymn 3 Holy, Holy, Holy
Note: Mary ascribed holiness to the name of her God and Savior. That means his name, and thus his character, is like no other name. It is above all names. Perhaps the author of this hymn had the Magnificat in mind because in addition to holiness, he also emphasizes God’s might, and mercy. Through this famous trinitarian hymn, we join Mary in affirming that there is no other God.
Scripture Reading Psalm 145:1-21
Note: Echoes of Psalm 145 can be heard in Mary’s Magnificat.
Note: Mary reminded us that God extends his mercy to all the peoples of the world. He is merciful to each person because we are not instantly consumed by his just wrath. And those who trust him find him merciful in a special way. Mary’s Son secured our forgiveness so that God’s mercy toward us is deep and inexhaustible. Now, God “receives me (the chief of sinners) with his love.”
Message The Magnificat
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn 220 Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken
Note: Mary concluded her praise by framing God’s mercy within the eternal promises made to Abraham and his descendants. God promised Israel a new King, a New Covenant, and a New City. All will be fulfilled through Mary’s Son, Jesus. In this hymn we anticipate the glories of the New Jerusalem where Jesus will reign forever on David’s throne.
Prayer Response John Miles
Benediction John Miles