Sermon for Sunday, December 11, 2022

Joy: “My Soul Glorifies the LORD” – Luke 1:46-55

Luke 1:46–55 (NRSV): 46 And Mary said,“My soul magnifies the Lord, 47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me,  and holy is his name. 50 His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. 51 He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.  52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; 53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

This area of Luke in orthodoxy is called the Magnificat.  Magnificat simply means “my soul glorifies the LORD”.  It parallels Hannah’s Song in the Old Testament.

1 Samuel 2:1–10 (NRSV): 2 Hannah prayed and said,“My heart exults in the LORD; my strength is exalted in my God. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in my victory.  2“There is no Holy One like the LORD, no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. 3 Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. 4 The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble gird on strength. 5 Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry are fat with spoil.     The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn. 6 The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up. 7 The LORD makes poor and makes rich; he brings low, he also exalts. 8 He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s, and on them he has set the world. 9“He will guard the feet of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness; for not by might does one prevail.
10 The LORD! His adversaries shall be shattered; the Most High will thunder in heaven.
The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king, and exalt the power of his anointed.”

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