Humbly Glorify the Lord

2018-12-23 – Year C – Advent 4 – The Rev. Christopher M. Klukas

Micah 5:2–5a; Psalm 80:1–7; Hebrews 10:1–10; Luke 1:39–56

  • Cousins! What a joy it is to see cousins playing together.
  • Recent visit from my brother
  • Joseph and Eli are just about the same age
  • Mary and Elizabeth were kinswomen, members of the same extended family.
  • The Lord speaks to each of them (through angels and the Holy Spirit) of the pregnancy of the other, and in today’s gospel lesson they meet.


  • One remarkable thing about this story is that there is no hint of jealousy in Elizabeth.
  • Elizabeth was old and had been unable to conceive.
    • In this way her story reminds of us Sarah, the wife of Abraham, in the Old Testament and of the child that God gave her in her old age.
  • Earlier in this chapter it says that Elizabeth “kept herself hidden” for five months before telling others of her pregnancy.
    • This means that she had just made her happy announcement a month before Mary shows up.
  • Elizabeth could have been jealous.
    • She could have seen Mary as stealing her thunder.
    • She could have been jealous that Mary was chosen to bear the Son of God whereas she was chosen to be the mother of his forerunner.
  • Instead of jealousy, we see joy!
  • Elizabeth was overjoyed to be a mother, and content with her circumstances and this allowed her to have joy for Mary too.


  • Equally remarkable is Mary’s lack of pride at being chosen to be the mother of the Lord.
  • You can imagine the range of emotions that Mary must have had after hearing the news from Gabriel.
    • She was young, was she ready to be a mother?
    • She was unmarried but engaged, what would her fiance, Joseph, think? What would the people in town think? Would they try to stone her?
    • She was probably poor.
    • Despite her circumstances, I could see it being easy to slip into pride. God chose me for this!
    • “And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38, ESV).
      • Servant, doule, literally means servant or slave.
      • When we put ourselves in this place, we have a proper orientation towards God.
      • Jesus said that when we humble ourselves, we allow God to lift us up (Luke 14:10-11)
  • Why does God choose a humble, poor, unmarried woman to be the mother of Jesus?
    • God wanted to identify with the poor, with people who knew they needed him.
  • Mary continues this theme of humility in her song, the Magnificat.
    • She doesn’t proclaim her own greatness, she proclaimed the “greatness of the Lord” (HCSB, v. 46). She “magnifies” the Lord (glorify, exalt, magnify).
    • She praises God because he has looked on her humble estate and has done great things for her (vv. 48-49).
  • Then she turns outward and recognizes the significance of this not just for her but for all people.
    • vv. 51-43.
    • When we are proud in our own strength and ability, we leave no room for God to work in our lives and demonstrate his power.
    • 2 Corinthians 12:9-10


  • Elizabeth says “blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord” (Luke 1:45, ESV).
    • God always keeps his promises. He demonstrates this over and over in the scriptures.
    • God wants us to trust him. To put our faith in him. And to believe him when he tells us that he is about to do great things.
      • Even when, especially when, it seems like the great things he promises are impossible.
  • Gabriel says “Nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).
  • What are the impossible barriers in your life right now.
  • Where do you need to see the power, salvation, healing, and provision of God.
  • Quiet yourself before the Lord. Listen for his voice.
    • Believe what he tells you!

×Note: To download, click the button. If it doesn't work, right click, then click "Save Link As." Download only works if media is stored within this site. Download PDF

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top