"Rejoice In God My Savior!" Luke 1:39-56

Series: Advent - Gospel Lessons

December 18, 2022
Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

We need rain! Rain to wash away our sins freeing us from their burden! Sermon Text: Luke 1:39-56. Sermon Theme: "Rejoice in God My Savior!" Sermon for Rorate Coeli, The 4th Sunday in Advent, 18-December-2022, preached at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Tell City, Indiana by Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

Episode Notes

Rorate Coeli - The Fourth Sunday In Advent               18-December-2022
Sermon Text: Luke 1:39-56
Sermon Theme: “Rejoice In God My Savior!” by Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

I.N.R.I. We need rain! Not freezing rain, sleet, or snow - we need rain from the heavens above! Rain freeing us from sins which weigh us down. Rain sprinkling us from the side of The Man crucified for us at the place of the Skull. Rain washing sinners, like us, forgiven. Rain restoring hopeless dead sinners to life. Rain rescuing us from death and the devil. Rain giving us eternal salvation. Righteous rain clothing us with the robes of Christ’s righteousness and His salvation.
      Dehydrated by sin. We are weighed down. The desert of our souls cannot be quenched by the salt water of this world. We need rain from above. David teaches us to sing, Psa 32:1-5 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. (2) Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit. (3) When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long. (4) For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah (5) I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD," And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah” This morning we confessed our sins and it rained! “Php 4:4-5 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! (5) Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.” The prisoner Paul is now freed, even chained in Rome, to rejoice - He isn’t abandoned - the Lord is at hand - sin is forgiven - death doesn’t get the final word - Satan has lost all right to accuse before the throne of God’s judgment seat.  
      You confessed your sin to the Lord Jesus this morning - He is here - at hand to shower you with His righteousness from heaven above. The Creator did not divorce Himself from His creation. He took our humanity into His divinity to rescue us by shouldering the burden of the sins which weigh us down. He draws near this morning to quickly lift them by His grace and mercy onto His cross. Rejoice in the Lord Jesus always! He advents among us in His Word.
      Learn from the Virgin Mary this morning always to: “Rejoice In God My Savior!”
      St. Luke, a medical doctor, carefully researches before writing. He records, Luk 1:1-2 Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, (2) just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us,” He isn’t writing a myth or fable, but recording historical narrative from eyewitnesses of Jesus’ life and ministry. The Gospels are historical narrative that testify of the Truth. (Vs.39-40) Who did Luke get this information from? The Virgin Mary herself. She was cared for by the Apostle John in her old age, until she fell asleep trusting only in her Son as her God and Savior. What do we learn? The Angel Gabriel sent by God preached to the Virgin Mary. Luke records, Luk 1:28-38 And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!" (29) But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. (30) Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. (31) And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. (32) He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. (33) And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end." (34) Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?" (35) And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. (36) Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. (37) For with God nothing will be impossible." (38) Then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.” Hearing the promise of the Christ Child - Mary responds - “Let it be to me according to your word!” And Jesus was conceived in her womb by the power of the Holy Spirit through the Promise preached. God’s Word is living and active filled with the Holy Spirit and the life of Christ. When hear, ‘I forgive you all your sins” then like the Virgin say, “Let it be to me according to your word!” Rejoice in the Lord always! Our God deals with us through His Word and Sacraments. Here He is found - adventing among us to fill us with His life.
    The Virgin leaves with haste to help out her aged cousin Elizabeth, who lived in a town of priests, in the hill country of Judea. The Virgin Mary, the God-Bearer, humbles herself to serve. Her reasonableness/ gentleness flows in loving service - for the Lord is at hand. We could infer from Matthew’s gospel, that she is marked with the cross - as are who follow Jesus trusting in His Word. Joseph, her husband to be didn’t immediately buy what she told him about being with Child from the Holy Spirit. He was minded to quietly break their marriage and put her away. Perhaps her family sent her away to hide their shame at their unwed daughter being found with Child.
    Our sins burden us. Weigh us down. Shame covers us. Gossipers accuse putting the worst construction on all our actions. Rejoice! Listen only to the voice of your Creator through the preachers He calls and sends! (Vs. 41-45) The young Virgin Mother coming to humbly serve her cousin is served by the fetus John. The angel Gabriel preached to the aged priest Zechariah of his son, Luk 1:15-16 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. (16) And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.” Zechariah didn’t believe the Promise preached - he would remain silent three more months. The six month old fetus John preaches pointing to Jesus from his aged mother Elizabeth’s womb. In the Satanic culture of death that grips our world - this shows us that babies are human persons within the womb. They are listening and learning as they grow within their mother’s womb. They hear the Scriptures read, prayers prayed, hymns sung by their mothers “in utero.” Parents bring your children to church from conception. Read out loud to them God’s Word - the Small Catechism, sing hymns with them as they stir within.
    John leaps for joy hearing the voice of the Virgin Mary. He fills his mother with the Holy Spirit and she burst forth in praise. Jesus is present in the womb of the Virgin Mary in the early weeks of His development as a fetus. He is fully a human person from the moment of conception - fearfully and wonderfully made. The Creator humbles Himself to become a zygote growing in the Virgin’s womb. His sinless conception is for burdened sinners. David confessed, Psa 51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.” Our sinful conception is atoned for by Jesus. He shoulders our sin already in the womb to bring us back to His Father by His obedience. Learn well that salvation is never your doing. It is all God the Father’s gift to you in His only begotten Son conceived by God the Holy Spirit through the Word of Promise in the womb of the Virgin Mary.
        Where our Virgin mother Eve listened to the whispers of Satan, our Virgin Mother Mary clings only to God’s Word Promising the Christ from the angel preacher. Eve and her husband Adam plunged creation into sin and death, binding us captive to Satan. The blessed Virgin Mother Mary - the Mother of our Lord - brings us joy through hearing and believing the Word of God spoken to her. She is blessed by the Holy Spirit to believe the Word spoken to her.  
      The Virgin Mary won’t have worship showered upon her. Her cousin Elizabeth praises her - what does Mary do? (Vs. 46-54) She sings forth the praises of Christ Jesus - her Lord - her Savior. Her soul magnifies the Lord. He has chosen even a sinful woman, conceived and born in Adam and Eve’s sin, to be the Mother of the One Savior of all mankind. “Her” Savior from all sins from death and the power of the devil. Mary was a humble virgin with nothing to boast within herself, yet the Lord looked on her to be the instrument through which Salvation would be incarnate to bring salvation to all sinners. She is blessed for what has been given her - the very flesh and blood of the Creator - to gestate, birth, nurse, diaper, feed, teach to walk and talk with her husband Joseph, teach God’s Word in their home, synagogue, and Temple. Mary, the Virgin Mother of our Lord, rejoices only in Jesus.
Her last words in the Gospels are recorded by St. John, the son whom Jesus named to care for her at His cross -Joh 2:5 His mother said to the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do it." The Virgin Mary would have you listen only to her Lord and Savior - her Son - Jesus. Luke echos this in his historical narrative...Luk 11:27 And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, "Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!" The Son of the Virgin Mary had just unburdened a sinner from demon possession - the crowds marveled, but some mocked him accusing him of being in league with the devil. Jesus preaches that there is no middle ground - you are either with Him freed, unburdened from our sins - or against Him chained by Satan, enslaved to your sin. When a woman praises the Virgin Mary - Jesus speaks, Luk 11:28 But He said, "More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!" Eyewitnesses tell Luke all of this - perhaps it is even the Virgin Mary who wants to turn people away from worshiping her to look only to the flesh and blood of her Son - Jesus.
      The Virgin Mary and her husband Joseph knew the Scriptures and the promise spoken through Moses. The Lord would raise up the Prophet to speak His Word. Not thundering Law from Sinai to bring fear, but preaching the Good News that Salvation has come! He is Jesus! Our Brother born of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. Our Lord - Emmanuel - God With Us! He is at hand! Rejoice in Him! Cling to His Promise- Isa 45:8 “Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit; let the earth cause them both to sprout; I the LORD have created it.”   It is raining! All who believe and are baptized Shall see the Lord's salvation; Baptized into the death of Christ, They are a new creation. Through Christ's redemption they shall stand Among the glorious, heav'nly band Of ev'ry tribe and nation. Rejoice in the Lord always - He is at hand! “Draw near and take the body of the Lord, And drink the holy blood for you outpoured; Offered was He for greatest and for least, Himself the victim and Himself the priest.” Amen.

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