2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16
Psalm 89:1-4, 14-18
“Mary did you know?”
Grace and Peace to you my brothers and sisters in Christ, Amen.
Last we spoke, sang, and even heard a sermon about the Magnificat that Mary sang in Luke. Now I made a slight goof in that sermon, in that I said that her Magnificat was in response to what we just read in today’s Gospel. In reality, the Magnificat was in response to Elizabeth who, through the Holy Spirit, blessed Mary as the “Mother of my Lord.” This happened right after Gabriel spoke to Mary and is the point in scripture when John the Baptist leapt in his womb upon meeting Jesus who was in His womb.
So why give this correction? Well first, it is to get the record straight, but second, it is to point out that Mary’s Magnificat was not just a mere response to Gabriel. She has been mulling over the words preached to her by this angel, and finally, after hearing Elizabeth’s proclamation, the joy and knowledge Mary had started gushing out. She didn’t just hear Gabriel, she listened and understood him. And what did he tell her? Quite plainly, that she was to bear the Son of God through a virgin birth, which, as a Jew, she knew was in reference to the prophecies found in Isaiah.
There is a most beautiful song that is sung during the time of Christmas, a fairly recent song, that can be interpreted as either rhetorical or extremely condescending, “Mary did you Know.” I hear it on the radio and sometimes in Churches and the chords and words of the song are, equally, so powerful. But what are the lyrics?
[Sing verse 1 of “Mary did you know”]
That is a piece, but other questions asked include: did you know that he will cure the blind, the deaf, the lame; that he will calm the storm; that he is God; that he is the Lord of all creation; that he will rule the nations; that he is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
What if I was to tell you that, except the particular miracles, she knew all of this? Mary heard the words of Gabriel, and she knew the prophecies, and she professed her knowledge through the Magnificat. She knew that Jesus will perform miracles, that He is our Savior, that with him comes newness of life, that He will deliver her, that He was God and the Great I am, that He will rule all, that He is the Lamb. She knew all of this. Which is why I ask, as you sing the powerful song, “Mary did you know,” that you ask yourself, is this a condescending biblically illiterate song that paints Mary as a young clueless person or is this a song full of rhetorical questions designed to compel you to proclaim, to shout on the highest mountains, “of course she knew,” and then lead us to the Bible to confirm the knowledge and wisdom she did possess.
Now we won’t be singing “Mary did you know” through the chimes, but we will be playing the chimes. So once again, I ask for volunteers to help distribute one silver chime to each person, please start with the chimes with the stickers on the front. And if there are any left overs you may distribute the rest of the silver chimes. Those who were here last week noticed the new color coded stickers I applied to each chime. I ask that as the chimes are being passed around that you take note of the colors.
As a reminder, I would like to demonstrate how to use chimes. Now your turn, first all orange chimes. Now all red chimes. Now all blue chimes. One more time for each. Very Good.
There are many stories of angels coming to proclaim things throughout the Bible, some sing halleluiahs, others preach good news, all come in such a shocking manner. So let us sing of the angels who came to us through “It came upon the midnight clear.”
After receiving the good news many traveled, the amazing birth was coming, the amazing heavenly peace was coming, for whereas the days may dark and filled with concern and worry, through Christ our nights are calm, bright, and silent. Let us sing, in remembrance of this calm, “Silent Night.”
And on that fateful day, many travelled to Bethlehem to see the Christ child, this king, and when they came, they found him not in some extravagant cradle, but in a lowly manger. Let us sing, “Away in a Manger.”
Christmas is just around the corner, but it is not quite here, so in preparation for the coming birth let us finish by wishing each other a Merry Christmas, by singing “We wish you a Merry Christmas.”
I ask that you please leave your chimes in the pews, and after service I will collect and wipe down all our chimes.
Let us pray,
Dear Heavenly Father, we lift our voice in praise as we magnify your Holy Name, for you have blessed us with many proclamations and prophecies. You forget not your lowly servants but send to us angels to let us know that the King is coming. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.