Lesson

The Songs of Christmas (4 Sermon Mini-Series)

Sermon One – Mary’s Song (Luke 1:46-55)

Mary sings this song after having met with her cousin Elizabeth. Both women are pregnant, and both pregnancies are miraculous in nature. The song is full of praise for how God has paid attention to her despite her insignificance. It is also prophetic of what God will do through this Christ, exalting the lowly  and bringing down the proud. In this sermon it would be good to draw attention to the radical nature of the Christmas message in bringing hope for those at the bottom of the heap.

Sermon Two – Zechariah’s Song (Matthew 1:68-79)

Zechariah is the husband of Elizabeth, and once she has given birth to their son, John the Baptist, Zechariah sings out this prophetic song of praise. In particular he focusses on how God is now fulfilling the promises that he has made to his people through the Old Testament. There had been the promise of a king on David’s throne who would save God’s people, and the covenant that he made with Abraham. Zechariah prophesies that his own son will play the role of the forerunner of the one who will fulfil these promises. In this sermon you can draw attention to how Christ is the fulfilment of all the Old Testament prophets, and how it is in him that salvation can be found.

Sermon Three – The Angels’ Song (Luke 2:14)

This short song is sung by the whole angelic choir as the good news of Christ’s birth was announced to the shepherds. There are two particular things highlighted in the song – glory to God, and peace to people. First is the declaration of glory to God. As simple as this point is, we sometimes miss it in our rush to think about what the coming of Christ means for ourselves. In sending his son to earth, to take on human flesh and be a saviour, God has done something amazing. He deserves the highest praise and this is exactly what the angels give him. Secondly, peace on earth. In sending his son, God has made a way of reconciliation. No longer are people alienated from God, but we can now be in relationship with him through what Christ has done, and this reconciliation with God also spills out into reconciliation of human relationships with one another.

Sermon Four – Simeon’s Song (Luke 2:29-32)

Simeon was an old man who had been waiting for the fulfilment of a word from God that he would see the Messiah before he died. Once baby Jesus had been brought into the temple and Simeon had seen him, this was his song of praise. His praise begins on a personal level, that God had fulfilled his promise to Simeon himself, but quickly goes wider. In this child is the salvation for people of all nations. He is the one in who God is revealed to the Gentiles as well as glorified in Israel. A focus of this sermon could be God’s global salvation that he has brought forth through Christ.