12/19/2020 Yes, Mary Knew – By Pastor Katie

This week I had the opportunity to preach on Mary’s Magnificat—named for the Latin term for ‘magnify’ as Mary says “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my savior.” (Luke 1:46b) 

There is simply too much good stuff to cram into one sermon, so here is what else I’d like to share with you.   

Women account for so few words in the Bible; when they are included it is best to pay close attention. There are 93 women who speak in the Bible, only 49 of them are named. These women speak about fourteen thousand words collectively, accounting for about 1.1 percent of the total words in the Bible.

Rev. Lindsay Hardin Freeman undertook the project to count all of the words spoken by women in the Bible while she was serving at Trinity Episcopal Church in Excelsior, MN. She published her book Bible Women: All Their Words and Why They Matter in 2014. 

Mary, the mother of Jesus, speaks 191 words and 135 are the words of the Magnificat in Luke 1:46-55. Another 26 of Mary’s words are spoken in her conversation with the angel who announces her coming pregnancy and bearing of God’s son, the Messiah, to the world. 

“How can this be, since I am a virgin?” Luke 1:34 

This line spoken in response to the Angel’s proclamation that she will bear a son, Jesus, the Son of the Most Hight, the heir to the throne of David, to reign forever, and ‘of his Kingdome there will be no end.’ 

“Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Luke 1:38

Mary’s faithful response to the foretelling of the Holy Spirit’s coming to her that she would conceive God’s own son. 

All of this brings me to my main point, Mary heard the Angel, Mary knew that she was bearing Emmanuel—God with us—to us, Mary knew that Jesus was the promised Messiah, and, yes, Mary knew he was Lord of all creation and would rule the nations. 

All of this was foretold to her by the Angel, and she said “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” 

Perhaps you’ve caught on to my meaning here. You know that beloved Christmas-y song “Mary, did you know?” 

Mary, did you know that your baby is boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations. 

Yes, Mary knew. Yes, it had been told to her before she conceived. Yes, she had faithfully said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord.” 

A few verses later will be Mary’s Magnificat, a song of praising God for all that God has done and all that God will do, including the fulfillment of centuries-old promises…

“God has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise God made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.” Luke 1:55

The words Biblical women speak matter, since there are so few of them recorded. The words Mary, the mother of Jesus, speaks show us that yes, Mary knew all along. Mary was a woman of deep faith and trusted God. 

To be a poor teenage girl found pregnant outside of marriage wasn’t only scandalous, it was dangerous. 

And yet, Mary’s faith and trust echoed the response “Here am I” spoken by the Biblical greats—Abraham, Moses, Samuel—as they begin endeavors bigger than themselves on behalf of God’s people.  

Emmanuel, God with us, has come in the Word made flesh in Jesus Christ. 

Emmanuel, God with us, is here in the moving of the Holy Spirit and in every breath we take.

Emmanuel, God with us, will come again, so for now, we wait. 

This is the meaning of Advent, hopeful, expectant waiting for Emmanuel, who has come, is here, and will come again. 

In hope, peace, joy and love,

Pastor Katie

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