The Gospel of Luke begins and concludes with one purpose: worship of God through the mighty acts of God’s salvation as revealed through Jesus. Worship is Mary’s response to the greeting by her cousin Elizabeth in Luke 1:46-55.
46 And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and 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.”
Luke 2:8-14 records a choir of angels praising God in the birth of Jesus.
The Shepherds and the Angels
8 In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors.
The songs that shape the story of Jesus’ birth in Luke bears witness to the truth told by Blaise Pascal: “The people who have the greatest influence in shaping the hearts and minds of any generation are not the folks who write the laws, but those who write the songs.”
Just as worship of God introduces Jesus in the beginning of Luke, worship of God concludes the Gospel of Luke as told in Luke 24:52-53:
And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and they were continually in the temple blessing God.
May the God to whom Mary and the angels sang bless your life as you praise God this Advent and Christmas.
by Pastor Marc Brown
December 10, 2023
Accompanying Scriptures: Luke 1:46- 55, 2:8-14, 24:52-53
Fort Hill United Methodist Church
Order of Worship for December 10, 2023
Scripture Lesson Luke 1:46- 55, 2:8-14, 24:52-53
The Good News “Worshipping God”
Music “People, Look East” Hymn #202
Closing Music “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus” arr. Mark Hayes