Sermon for Luke 1:39-56 -
Oh, How The Mighty Has Fallen!
Mary's Song - Advent 4
I am holding in my hands a copy of one of the world's most
revolutionary documents. In it are found these immortal words: "We hold these
truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. . ." Of course, that
document, the Declaration of Independence, is the charter of the American
Revolution. Though we have not yet lived up to it, it has been the vision that
inspires us. The only document I know that is more revolutionary is in our
Bible. It is called the Magnificat and is found in Luke, chapter 1, verses 39
Back before India won its independence, it was under British rule. Bishop
William Temple of the Anglican Church warned his missionaries to India not to
read the Magnificat in public. He feared that it would be so inflammatory that
it might start a revolution!
The document is all the more remarkable when one remembers that it came from the
lips of a simple, teenage girl named Mary. She grew up in the obscure village of
Nazareth in what is now northern Israel. The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and
announced that she had been chosen to be the mother of the long-awaited Messiah.
Gabriel told Mary that her aunt Elizabeth, well past the child-bearing age, had
become pregnant. Immediately Mary went to visit Elizabeth. Under the influence
of the Holy Spirit, both women sensed that God has chosen them for special tasks
and would do great things through their children.
Mary was then given by the Holy Spirit insights far too profound for a simple
teenager to originate. She declared the impact that her son would have upon the
world. She announced three distinct revolutions, which Jesus would instigate and
activate. She spoke of these revolutions in the past tense, as if they had
already happened. The world has been reeling ever since under the influence of
our revolutionary Lord.
A world shaping revolution is in place. Just this past week many wrongs in the
mid East were set on the path of being righted: the proud have been scattered,
the mighty have fallen, and the humble He has lifted. With these events in view
let us turn not to the UN, not to any world leader, but to a young peasant girl
named Mary, for it is HER words that are illustrated by these world events.
Let's consider that it was SHE that gave birth to the Revolution that is the
pattern for all others.
1. The first nature of the revolution is spiritual.
2. The second nature of the revolution is social.
3. The third nature of the revolution is economic.
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