Grace and Glory – Gospel in Life

Grace and Glory

Tim Keller |  December 19, 2004

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  • Glorification
Psalm 113:1-9
RS 178-15


Psalm 113 points us back to the song of Hannah in 1 Samuel 1 and 2, and it looks forward to the song of Mary in Luke 1, where Mary sings because she has been told she’s going to give birth to Jesus. So these three — the song of Hannah, Psalm 113, and the song of Mary — are connected. There’s a theme running through all of these that will shed light on what Christmas is about.

So what is Christmas about? It’s about the infinitely high becoming inconceivably low, the infinitely huge becoming astoundingly small. In other words, there’s a protocol God has when it comes to renewing the world and renewing your life. The protocol is he tends to work through the poor to renew the world, and he tends to work through weakness and suffering to renew you.
Let’s take a look at this protocol, first of all as God depicts it in Psalm 113 and then as Jesus Christ works it out through his own life.

Psalm 113:1–9

This Psalm praises God for being the greatest of all, while also showing His kindness to those who are often forgotten or overlooked. It brings to mind the true meaning of Christmas, when God, who is so big and powerful, chose to come to us in the simplest way. It shows how God wants to fix our world and our hearts by giving strength to the weak and using our struggles to create something beautiful.

1. How God uses the protocol

God often chooses to work through those who others might overlook. This is evident in many Psalms. We explore different ideas around poverty and hardship, looking at how Jesus himself came from very humble beginnings. The main takeaway is that God can bring good things, even salvation, out of our struggles and weaknesses, just like He did with Jesus.

2. How Jesus uses the protocol

When we focus our hearts on God, we can find true happiness and wonder in Him. This isn’t about what we’ve done, but about the amazing love God shows us. Unlike other views of the world, Christianity encourages us to love and care for those who are less fortunate. To really understand and enjoy all that God has for us, we need to be generous, humble, and trust in His plan for us.



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