In the book of Luke, Mary is visited by the angel Gabriel. He informs Mary that she is going to give birth to a son, though she is a virgin.vShe is told to name Him Jesus and that He would be the Son of the Most High and would receive the throne of David and that His Kingdom would never end. Mary is told of Elizabeth, her relative, and that she also is pregnant with a son in her old age. The point of Elizabeth’s pregnancy was a sign to Mary that all things are possible with God. Mary’s response to all of this? “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word.”
I love this perspective but you must understand what she was saying “yes” to. They were going to gossip, accuse her, there could have been a threat on her life for being pregnant out of wedlock. It’s why Joseph tried to put her away quietly, in order to protect her. In the end, this would not be a normal marriage or a normal life. She was going to have not just a son, but THE Son. Mary visits Elizabeth and Elizabeth declares that her baby leaped in her womb when Mary approached carrying Jesus in her womb. Mary realizes the reality of her situation and she breaks the workings of her mind with praise.
46 And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55 as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
Here is what I love about all of this: Her praise speaks to every topic you’ve heard today:
To loneliness, Mary is given God’s Son
To hopelessness, God is redeeming His people
To injustice, a captive Israel was receiving a King
To sin, God remembered His people in mercy
Jesus offers life for every person who would follow Him.
(ESV) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
God sends His Son to save the world, save Israel and to save you and me. God didn’t stop at the nation or the planet. Through what most scholars believe was roughly a 16-year-old girl named Mary, God makes His salvation personal. He looks not just at the world, not just at the nation of Israel, He looks at you. He looks at me. Time is about to change. BC is about to become AD, hopelessness will turn to hope, punishment for sins will be met with mercy, loneliness is met with God’s presence and injustice is met by a just King. All of this, in a moment at Christmas, where labor pains turn to birth, a baby is born and with each breath He takes, life is breathed into the world, and his breath becomes word and His words become life. Hope spreads from a manger to all of us. A new clock begins to click and almost without notice, the world has changed.
Have you read in Scripture that the return of Jesus is much like this scene at Christmas? He talks about labor pains before He returns. The reason they call it labor pains is because… pain… But these pains lead to something wonderful, and they will give birth to a new reality, a new Kingdom and all will submit to this new King. This time, it will not go unnoticed. Heaven and earth are made new, labor will give birth to His Kingdom come.
It all began here, at Christmas, over 2000 years ago. Let us celebrate what God has done as we remember what Christmas is about: Jesus comes to earth for the glory of God, in order that we may have life.