At the end of Luke’s account of the events surrounding Jesus’ birth, he tells us that, “Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19). Mary is an incredible woman, and seeing the story through her eyes is a great way to think about the Christmas narrative.
Sermon One – Mary Finds Out She Will Have a Child (Luke 1:26-38)
Mary was betrothed to Joseph but not yet married when an angel appeared to her. She was still a virgin, but the angel announced that she would conceive and bear a son. The passage shows Mary going through a range of responses, beginning with fear at this unexpected visitation, then questioning the practicalities (as she was a virgin), and finally faith as she joyfully embraced God’s will for her. You could draw attention to how we sometimes share these responses as we start to engage with the story of God, and invite us to respond in a similar way to how Mary does at the end of the passage.
Sermon Two – Mary and Elizabeth (Matthew 1:39-45)
By this point in the story, Mary and her cousin Elizabeth are both pregnant, and both pregnancies are supernatural in nature. Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit, and Elizabeth conceived despite the fact that she was barren and both herself and her husband were old. When Mary visited Elizabeth, her unborn child (John the Baptist) leapt in her womb in praise, and Elizabeth also blessed Mary, acknowledging that the child in her womb was the Lord. Both John and Elizabeth show something important in their response of how we should respond to the presence of Jesus.
Sermon Three – Mary’s Song (Luke 1:46-55)
Mary responds to Elizabeth’s words to her with a song that has come to be known as the Magnificat. It is a song of praise of God for what he has done and is also prophetic of what he will do through her son. In the song she talks about God’s undeserved grace to her, looking at her lowly estate, doing great things for her and blessing her. She also speaks of God’s mighty saving power, both in bringing down the self-exalted and in exalting the humble. Through Christ there is a great reversal, and whilst this has a primarily spiritual significance, the social application of it should not be missed.