Mother Mary's Revolution

Date: 12/27/2009
More audio from All Saints Church
Type: Sunday Sermon
Topic: Advent
Organization: All Saints
Price: FREE

We need to review how God prepared us for the Incarnation. Like Mary, we must rejoice in the mystery of the Incarnation especially seeing how God prepared His people (v 46). The Hope of Israel was upon them in this moment. There were previews in the cases of barren women who give supernatural birth to a son: Sarah/Gen. 18, Hannah/1 Sam. 1-2, the wife of Manoah/Jdg. 13, Isaiah/Isa. 7, and Elizabeth/Zechariah. When hope seems lost, God brings life. Ironically, the power of God (v. 51) rests in a womb-bound child. Jesus was not “Unbreakable,” but a fragile child in the ark of her own body. But He shakes the powers of heaven and earth, bringing radical change.

We need to believe God fulfilled His promise in the Incarnation. We must believe in the fulfillment of God’s Covenant Promises for His people, seeing how Jesus is the fulfillment. The exile is over. God has come, mysteriously to His people as Emmanuel. Mary’s celebration starts with “for me” but ends with “for Israel.” The covenant-making God and (now) covenant-keeping God has done what he said to Abraham (see Gen. 12:1-3). All the nations will be blessed in Mary’s baby. She is the paragon of all covenant mothers whose womb-fruit are serpent-crushing seed, “from generation to generation” (v 50). Mary is blessed in a unique way no doubt, but she stands for all covenant mothers (1 Tim. 2:15).

We need to know God wants us to participate in the Incarnation's purpose. We must participate in the agenda of the Incarnation, as the Father sent the Son, so we are sent to give holistic care to the poor. This is the “revolutionary” point in the Magnificat. As Luther: “God is the kind of Lord who does nothing but exalt those of low degree and put down the mighty from their thrones, in short break what is whole and make whole what is broken.” The early church carried forward Jesus’ holistic mission of truth and deeds, not as Marxists, but as “messiahs.” They sacrificed themselves, did good deeds, shared wealth, established justice, and insisted that faith works. “The church raised the position of women, freed slaves, and preserved the dignity of the poor” (Lusk).

Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as receive a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more