TEXT: Topical, textual references (Lk. 1; Matt. 1, Lk. 2)
INTRO: Today our Advent celebration moves to the second candle, “The Candle of Annunciation and Preparation.” It is also called the Mary’s Candle because it points to the calling of Mary to bear the Son of God. “Why Mary?”
I. MARY IS NOT THE CENTRAL IDEA OF CHRISTMAS
A.READ Is. 7:14. “Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel.”
B. The central idea was that God would come down to dwell among His people. But an important second idea was that His birth would miraculous, because he would be born of a virgin.
II. THE CALLING OF MARY. READ Lk. 1:26-29.
We should note several important things about this calling.
1.) It does not happen by coincidence but by a direct confrontation from God. God chose Mary.
2.) The angel set forth a necessary greeting for the task she was about to be given. “Rejoice,
(don’t be afraid or downcast at this meeting. When God comes to us, it is a great honor), favored woman! (She was special. We’ll examine this more in a moment.) “The Lord is with you.”
3.) Mary responded with a troubled mind and an uncertainty about what was going on.
III. WHAT QUALIFIED MARY TO RECEIVE THAT CALLING? READ VSS. 30-37.
A. Of all the women in the world why did God choose Mary?
1.) She had the right pedigree. a.) Mary was Jewish b.) Mary was from the line of David and engaged to a man from the line of David c.) Mary was a young virgin. d.) Mary must have lived a righteous lifestyle. Is this what caused Mary to “find favor with God?”
B. Surely there were other prospects as “qualified” as Mary: Jewish women; from the line of King David; virgins; God had others from which to choose.
C. Only conjecture causes us to think God would have surely had to choose a girl who was extra special, above the norm of fallen humanity, necessarily excellent and without sin
D. Vs. 28, “Rejoice favored woman! The Lord is with you.” Vs. 30, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” How does any human being, in which “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” find favor with God?? is it not by GRACE ALONE?
Eph. 2:8-9, “It is by grace, not by works, so no man (or woman) can boast.”
Don’t we receive grace through faith? Vs. 38, which says, “I am the Lord’s slave,” said Mary. “May it be done to me according to your word.” Rejoice, for you have found favor with God!
2nd Candle: This is the candle of Annunciation (announcement) or love. It is to remind us that God, in love, sent an angel to tell Mary that she would have a baby, born of the Holy Spirit. The angel told Mary not to be afraid for she had found favor with God and her child would be called the Son of God. Mary represented all the people of God who trusted Him and waited for a Savior. Although it would surely make her life very difficult, Mary agreed with God to become the mother of the Messiah. With love we light the candle of Annunciation. (Prayer)