Mary – Gospel in Life
Sermon

Mary

Tim Keller |  December 23, 2001

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Topics:
  • Christmas and Advent
  • Jesus' Birth
Duration:
44:51
Scripture:
Luke 1:26-45
SKU:
RS 142-4

Luke 1:26–45

When the angel Gabriel tells Mary about her special pregnancy, we see the real meaning of Christmas. It’s not just about Jesus being born. It’s about a big change coming. Under the influence of the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth, a relative of Mary, recognizes the important part Mary will play and encourages her to trust God. Christmas tells us about the unbelievable becoming real: the limitless becoming limited, the eternal becoming temporary, and the impossible becoming possible. When we understand this, we become more able to be honest about our weaknesses, stand up to challenges, fight for what’s right, and defeat what’s wrong.

1. Honesty brings us closer

In relationships, when one person admits they were wrong and lets down their guard, it can lead to healing and a deeper connection. This is similar to how God, through Jesus, became weak to mend his relationship with us. Christianity shows us a God who chose to become weak to connect with humanity. This amazing love makes it easier for us to be honest about our weaknesses, which can make our relationships stronger and deeper.

2. Comfort in hard times

Believing in Christmas and Jesus’ birth gives people a special way to face hard times. Instead of seeing suffering as a punishment from God, we see at Christmas a God who chose to suffer to make up for our wrongs. The comfort Christmas gives us when we’re suffering is like no other, because it shows us a God who knows what it’s like to suffer and understands our pain.

3. A drive to fight for what’s right

What’s really special about Christmas is the Christian belief that God chose to become weak, suffer, and take on a human body. Christianity is unique in saying that God cares about both our spirits and our bodies, which is shown by Jesus living a human life where he faced poverty, persecution, hunger, and death. The teachings about Jesus becoming human and coming back to life give Christianity a unique way to tackle the spiritual and physical problems we face. This fuels a drive to fight for what’s right and the belief that in the end, what’s right will win.

4. Humility brings us closer to God

Women, who are often not given enough credit in society, play key roles in the stories of Jesus’ birth and coming back to life. This challenges the biases of society and shows their strength. Christmas reminds us to leave behind prejudices and judgement, and to see Christ in those we might overlook. Being saved is not about what we can do ourselves, but about receiving God’s grace. It requires letting go, trusting, being humble, and being open to letting God change us.

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February Book Offer

Put Your Hope Not in Lesser gods, But in the One True God

In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller shows us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the truth about societal ideals and our own hearts — and that there is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings and fulfill our hopes.

February Book Offer

Put Your Hope Not in Lesser gods, But in the One True God

In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller shows us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the truth about societal ideals and our own hearts — and that there is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings and fulfill our hopes.