Fourth Sunday in Advent
Lutheran Service Book (LSB) hymnal
768 To God The Holy Spirit Let Us Pray
The Service of the Word p. 184
The Confession of Sins
The Psalm 111
The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 186
The Salutation and Collect p. 189
Deuteronomy 18:15–19 I Will Raise Up A Prophet
15“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen— 16just as you desired of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.’ 17And the Lord said to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken. 18I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. 19And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.’”
Philippians 4:4–7 Relief for Your Hearts and Minds
4Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Luke 1:39-56 Mary's Song – The Magnificat
39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
46 And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; 49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. 50 And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. 51 He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; 52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; 53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, 55 as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.” 56 And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 191
Hymn of the Day
357 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
The Sermon (see below)
The Offertory p. 192
Prayer of the Church
The Service of the Sacrament
Sanctus p. 195
The Lord’s Prayer p. 196
The Words of Our Lord p. 197
The Pax Domini
The Agnus Dei p. 198
Distribution Hymn 572 In The Shattered Bliss Of Eden
Distribution Hymn 332 Savior Of The Nations Come
Distribution Hymn 345 Hark! A Thrilling Voice is Sounding
Distribution Hymn 350 Come, thou precious ransom come
The Nunc Dimittis p. 199
The Thanksgiving p. 200
The Benedicamus p. 201
The Benediction p 202
384 Of The Father’s Love Begotten
Grace and mercy to God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
It is written: My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed. Thus far the text.
Let us pray: Gracious Father, who looked on the humble estate of the Virgin Mary, look also on our humble estate and grant us faith in Jesus, too. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
The Lord created you. He made everything that is you. And now, by faith in Jesus, your Savior, you are also God’s dear child. Young or old - you are God’s child. Male or female - you are God’s child by faith in Jesus.
Our text for this morning is a hymn. It is Mary’s hymn; Mary’s song. It is also known as the Magnificat. Mary breaks into song after the angel Gabriel and Mary’s cousin Elizabeth speak of The Child Mary is about to bear.
Our Father spoke of this Child in Genesis. To the serpent, God said “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; the Child shall crush your head, and you shalt bruise his heel.” But it was not yet revealed how this Child shall come to us or how He will crush Satan’s head.
Our Father spoke of this Child in more detail by the prophet Isaiah (7:10-12)). Syria was about to make war against King Ahaz in Jerusalem. King Ahaz was scared. His army was small. His country was small. How could he defend Jerusalem against the mighty Syria. So, the Lord promises to do battle the Syrians Himself. To comfort King Ahaz, the Lord is going to do a miracle. Moreover the Lord spoke again to (king) Ahaz, saying, “Ask a miracle for yourself from the Lord your God; ask it either in the depth or in the height above.” King Ahaz can decide what the mighty miracle will be. The more unrealistic the better! Maybe make the sun shine in rainbow colors instead of yellow. Maybe make the moon actually be made out of cheese. Or, maybe let whales fly without wings. Maybe make men fly like birds. King Ahaz is being commanded by God to ask for a farout, unreasonable, unrepeatable, miracle that man could never do. It will be a sign of God’s faithfulness to His creation just like the rainbow in the sky is a miracle and a promise to you.
But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I test the Lord!” King Ahaz is dead in his unbelief. The Lord has commanded Ahaz to name the miracle. Unbelief says I will not ask. The Lord tests Ahaz only to name the miracle. Unbelief says I will not test the Lord.
14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give (King Ahaz and) you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
Unlike King Ahaz, Mary believes the Lord.
30 Then the angel (Gabriel) said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.
Unlike King Ahaz, Mary believes the Lord. But Mary does not know a man?
And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.
Mary believes the Lord.
And Mary sings My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
Mary is a young Jewish woman. Nothing about her would make you think that God would favor Mary over all the other Jewish women. God could have chosen the daughter of a chief priest such as Caiaphas. But God didn’t do that. God could have chosen any other woman in Israel. But God didn’t do that. God favored Mary to give birth to God.
What does this have to do with you? I don’t see highly exalted people gathered here this morning. No children named Trump or Obama. No one who has an article about them on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. No even someone above the front page fold of the Muscatine Journal.
Like Mary, you are people of no significant importance.
But God has looked upon you in your humble estate and has had favor upon you. Of all the people in this world that don’t believe in Jesus, God gave you faith. Of all the Christians in the world, God knows you by name and delights in you.
You have much in common with Mary.
You gather together and sing hymns of praise to our gracious Father.
You are invited to the Lord’s Holy Communion and delight in Him.
You remember His Word and let it ruminate in your heart.
There is no mariology in Mary’s hymn.
Mary does not magnify herself that God chose her. She magnifies God.
Mary does not rejoice in herself that she will bear Jesus. She rejoices in God.
Rather, Mary rejoices that her long awaited Savior is to be born and that by means of a young woman without any claim to significance.
There is no mariology in the hymn’s you sing.
Rather, you rejoice that your long awaited Savior has been born and that He saves folks such are yourselves.
For we are the ones, like St. Paul, who are humbled. For even now, we are reminded of St Paul’s words in Romans chapter 7: what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do...O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
You are the ones the Lord favors by faith in Jesus who forgives you all your sins; in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The grace of God, which passes understanding, guard and keep you in body and soul through Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.