12.13.2009 Grace Summit Sermon - A Mary Christmas pt. 3 - Mary's Heart

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Nice Girls Don’t Change the World – Lynne Hybels – wife of Bill Hybels, one of the pastors at WillowCreek, – Lynne wrote a book which comes from her study of Mary – “To change the world by fighting injustice and oppression and malnutrition, women have to become dangerous.”
Last week and the week before, we saw that Mary was a woman of courageous faith who was willing to trust God in the most difficult of circumstances and able to remain faithful to God throughout the circumstances of life.

Last week we looked at The Magnificat – and today we will look at Mary’s heart – Luke 1:29 But she was greatly troubled at [this] statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this might be.
After the shepherds came and told Mary of all the angels had told them.
2: 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.
Treasure/ponder – she is deliberating what she has been told.
Mary was probably about the age of an eighth grader – and she is trying to understand what God is doing in her world. She is a woman of faith who is connecting the dots as these things are spoken to her. She is slowly figuring it out.

The words of this angel/these angels – what Mary is hearing is the gospel story – like the pieces of a puzzle coming together. It is amazing – she was really the first person to ‘get’ the gospel story.
Luke 1: 31 "And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus
Jesus – Jehovah is salvation – a Savior is coming!
32 "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High;
The Son of God – this Savior will be born and will be the Son of God – the incarnation – God becoming man. She may not have understood it all – but it was growing in her understanding.
and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David;
He will be the Messiah King.
Luke 2:8 And in the same region there were [some] shepherds staying out in the fields, and keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10 And the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people;
Good news = gospel – the angels are preaching to them – the gospel. A Savior – our sins have been forgiven through Christ and His death on the cross.

That is the joy of Christmas – through/because of His coming – our sins are taken away. We are washed thoroughly and can have peace with God.

11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 "And this [will be] a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger." 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased."

We have the whole message – all we need – in these two stories – a Savior who has come to give peace and forgiveness.
I want to give a brief history lesson…
510-27 BC – the Roman empire was a republic –
March 15, 44 BC, Gaius Julius Caesar was assassinated. Augustus became the next Caesar – the next ruler of Rome.
42 BC – Caesar was declared to be a god. – As a result, Augustus was considered a son of god – pax romana – a peace to the Roman empire.
Why the history lesson? There was a saying at the time – the good news of Rome – Caesar Augustus, son of god, our savior, has brought peace to the world.
And now these angels bring similar words of truth – Mary is hearing that her child will be in direct conflict with Rome someday. She is understanding that He will stand against the great king of the world. So Mary goes into this – and has this tremendous sense of hope, victory and triumph. She has it put together that her child will win freedom and peace for her people/drive out this great Roman empire and drive out these evil kings and rulers from their land.
Have you ever had that great sense of accomplishment? When something really comes together in some area of your life – like in your job, getting that promotion – but then, all of a sudden – feeling like, Yes, we got there – and then it all collapses? You get the new job and the company goes under and you have no job? Maybe it is with the family – your relationship with your spouse – and things are really coming together and some tragedy enters in, unexpected, out of nowhere – or in your spiritual life, you feel like you are finally getting control of something in your walk with God – and then it feels like God goes and hides for a while! That is what happens to Mary from this point on – from the moment the shepherds come – here you are, in a manger, with a couple cows and Lester the long-eared donkey – and they tell you this story and your heart is swelling – like when you get a parent teacher conference and the teacher brags on your child… - but Mary is hearing these things and it is about to end. It is like the bubble bursting – like the dot-com and housing bubble – good good good – and then POP!
Luke 2: 21 And when eight days were completed before His circumcision, His name was [then] called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.
For seven days after birth – the mother and child are ceremonially unclean – and then on the eighth day – He was circumcised. After that, the mother would still be unclean for another 30 days – and after those 30 days, they would have the baby consecrated at the temple.
Luke 2: 22 And when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "Every [first-born] male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord"), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of the Lord, "A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons."
This was the lowest offering for the poorest.
25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, 28 then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said, 29 "Now Lord, Thou dost let Thy bond-servant depart In peace, according to Thy word; 30 For my eyes have seen Thy salvation, 31 Which Thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 A light of revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Thy people Israel."
They are hearing these similar words again and again…
33 And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him.
And their hearts are going, Yes, Yes – our hearts are welling with pride…and then…
34 And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, "Behold, this [Child] is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed--
And you can imagine Mary thinking, “Whoa!” – fall – destruction/ruin of many in Israel. That is a little different than the Savior Son of God Glory Peace on Earth stuff.
Fall and rise – like rising – Jesus will draw a line – a sword to divide. When people meet your Son – He will divide people and a decision must be made!
And then look at these words – imagine having a 38 day old child – and then recognizing this person as a prophet like no one you have known, and he says,
35 and a sword will pierce even your own soul-- to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed. "
‘completely through the heart’ – all this hope and joy and exultation and victory has crumbled – and she has to ponder. For the rest of Jesus’ life, there was a lot of suffering.
Soon after this, the Magi come from the east – and they come in and say, Herod is afer you – so Mary has to flee to Egypt. Can you imagine that? You have to leave the country because the king is coming after your child? Can you imagine hearing the news that this king killed everyone else’s children as a result of your child? Imagine the pain and sorrow! Then when Jesus was 12, they were back in Jerusalem – and Jesus - probably a great kid (I’m guessing his terrible twos weren’t so terrible!) – and He knew the word – he must have had a great devotional life! And he is arguing in the temple and everyone is amazed. What does Jesus say to her? He is 12 – and slips back to the temple – Son, don’t you know what you have done to us? And Jesus responded – Do you not know I had to be about my father’s business? Things are changing – this is not the typical mother/son relationship.
Then at Cana – Jesus responds to her request by saying “Woman, what do I have to do with you?”

Then in John 19: s. But there were standing by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the [wife] of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He ^said to His mother, "Woman, behold, your son!" 27 Then He ^said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her into his own [household.]

Here, she didn’t know about the fulfillment of everything – and the words have to come back – a sword will pierce your own soul.
Through all of this – Mary – you see her as a part of the vibrant early church.

Jeff and Melissa shared at the end of last week about sharing with their friend from Japan – and how the Christmas story leads to the Easter story. A greater drama unfolds – that Jesus Christ would come and suffer and give of himself that our sins would be completely washed away.
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