This is the manuscript for the sermon I preached at West Bradenton Baptist Southside on Sunday December 1st, 2019.
Today is the first Sunday of Advent. We have now “officially” entered the Christmas season! This is a special time for many, but for western believers we celebrate and observe the time leading up to birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The word “Advent” is derived from the Medieval Latin word “Adventus” which means “coming” or “arrival”. Advent begins four Sundays before December 25th and it is a time where we celebrate the first Advent of our Savior Jesus Christ when he came to earth the first time and it is also a time that we prepare ourselves for the eventual and imminent return of Jesus Christ. As believers we should always continually prepare AND celebrate the arrival of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, but it is during these four weeks that we spend time focusing on and preparing ourselves for the coming of our King.
We are all familiar with the Nativity scene and story. One would be hard pressed to travel down any main street of a large or small town and not see at least one manger scene depicted in someone’s front yard, business or church. However, the nativity is much more than a nice story to tell our children and it is certainly much more than a collection of lighted up plastic figurines strategically placed in a wooden stable that gathered around a little baby that is placed in front yards.
For Advent this year I would like to take the next four weeks and look in depth at four key elements of the nativity. For the next four weeks we will look at the accounts of …
Why Protestant Christians Don’t Talk Much About Mary?
It is rare that one hears many sermons about Mary in Evangelical circles. There are many reasons why evangelicals don’t.
So, Why is Mary So Special?
I think when we look at the biblical accounts of Mary, we can easily conclude that Mary is indeed a special woman. She is special for many reasons and they are as followed…
The Virgin Mother – The virgin birth is an important doctrine and teaching in the Christian faith. The immaculate conception (as we call it) is a staple in our foundational beliefs because it was prophesied in Isaiah 7:14 that the Messiah would be born of a virgin mother, “Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: See, the virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel.” There is only one Jesus that is presented in the Word of God; and that Jesus did not come into the world by ordinary means, but he was conceived in the womb of the virgin by the Holy Ghost. This is what Scripture teaches… “The angel replied to her: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:35
The Mother of God – A title for Mary is Theotokos, the “God-Bearer,” this is a title for Mary as the Mother of God. Sometimes we forget the years up to Jesus’ ministry, we forget she was the mother who cared for the physical needs of Jesus the boy. She was the one who cared for him and who nurtured and taught him in the ways of the Lord.
She trusted & worshiped God – Mary’s Magnificat (Song of Praise). Read Luke 1:46 – 55 is one of the most beautiful songs of praise in the Bible. This song shows that she, in faith, consented to God’s plan. She knew God would protect her like he did the other women in the lineage of Jesus.
She submitted to God - She fully understood what she was taking on. She knew her fiancé could potentially divorce her, her reputation would be marred, her son would be ridiculed and ostracized and she knew the potential and the consequences of being accused of adultery in this Jewish society. Yet she accepted the call and submitted to God. “For nothing will be impossible with God. I am the Lord’s servant,” said Mary. “May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel left her. Luke 1:37, 38
She witnessed the Crucifixion - Not only was she present at the birth of the Savior but she watched in horror as the mob of people tortured, ridiculed and murdered the man she called son. “When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing there, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.” John 19:26, 27
She was the first to be informed of Jesus’ resurrection – The angel tells Mary Jesus is resurrected. “When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” Mark 16:1 - 3
She was present at Pentecost - Acts 1:14 “ They all were continually united in prayer, along with the women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers” Mary was present at Pentecost so she witnessed and probably experienced the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon the believers that day.
Matthew 1:18 -25
Joseph & Mary: Two ordinary people chosen for God’s extraordinary purpose
Did Mary Know?
How Should Evangelicals View Mary & Joseph?
Jeff has been in full-time ministry for thirty years. He currently serves as Executive Director at Anchor House Ministry at SeaPort Manatee in Palmetto, FL and he is a part-time Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Southside in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored A Lent Devotional (A Spiritual Journey to Lent) an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). All three are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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