This sermon was given on December 23, 2007 on Luke 1:39-56.
This sermon posted with kind permission from Father Pishoy Salama of St. Maurice & St. Verena Coptic Orthodox Church in Canada
In the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit one God amen glory be to the father to the son and to the Holy Spirit bus now and to the ages of all ages and good morning everyone good to see you bright and early, And by the way, according to the holy scriptures the church is not about the building. Because I'm 10% Century or actually early in the fourth Century buildings buildings to be anywhere in the house in the cemetery and enjoy the fellowship. This was called with the church. And even in the book of Acts Whenever there was a mention of the church. There was a reference to the people for the assemble together in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And we were having some discussion about our meeting place and he said this is very much like the children of Israel who met with the Lord for 40 years in a Tabernacle in the wilderness, whatever. They said that then stand beside the altar. Came and dwelt among them. He said time to go and to leave from this place to another place. The last time we went to the other place. The important thing was that God was in there next and this is what we want to focus on Jesus Christ Our focus and whatever we are whatever we need as long as we knew it in his holy and righteous name. The last couple of weeks we agreed that during the month of July, which is the one month prior to the Feast of nativity every Sunday that reads for us a chapter or a segmental resection from the first chapter of the Gospel of st. Luke. So the first week of Jack we're at the first quarter of the chapter, which was the Annunciation for the birth of John the Baptist last week with the Annunciation for the birth of Jesus Christ, which is this week. We have just read the chapter where the Virgin Mary goes to visit Elizabeth. And as soon as she sees her she rejoices and the child lives with joy in her room and she said how is it that the mother of my Lord comes to visit me in person live in person and because she said the mother of my Lord this is why we call her the theotokos. There was a long discussion in the early church. Is she the mother of Jesus or is she the mother of God the mother of God where we are to God who is in her room because as soon as she heard the celebration from Gabriel and the Holy Spirit came upon her she became pregnant with the Lord. Incarnate Word God he did not become Gods after he was bored all of a sudden, you know, he was gone when he was in her room and this come by nature of his American Disability what we called the Incarnate logos of God. He was fully God and fully human while he was still in her and this is why I said we're going to call the Virgin Mary the theotokos the bearer of God, which is the exact translation. But some people say translate in the mother of God. Exactly is the better of glass. No, it's amazing Beauty and I want you to notice that. The holy scriptures were not just written of Hazzard. Every single word has a meaning and even a reference from the Old Testament because God had three things before the beginning of time. And when we look at the holy scriptures Overlook a few verses for a few were thinking that they have no meaning know every single one has a very important meaning The Virgin Mary goes to Elizabeth today at Elizabeth give her the sanitation starts as The Magnificat my soul magnifies the Lord. I'd like to focus this morning. on a few words that were sent by the Virgin Mary when Elizabeth told her blessed is she who believed for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord blessed. Is she who believed those words and give her the good news. But as a matter of fact the words that were said to the Virgin Mary Long set before this time when Gabriel came to her. You see sent Luke when he wrote his gospel Guided by the Holy Spirit. It was a researcher. And he was a scholar and he as having research everything in great details. He researched everything in great details. That's when we look at. Yeah. The podium is not cooperating today. You see that as well as the one book into two divisions or two segments of the same book. Sentinel sports the book of Acts by referring to an event from the Old Testament and here comes the words of the Virgin Mary that she has believed what was said to her. These words were said to her long before the angel Gabriel came. Amazing Frog fishing that is mentioned in the book of Acts. Which sent Luke? cool quotes from the Old Testament from Joel the prophet it is what he says. And it shall come to pass at the last days. Says God that I will pour out of my spirit on All Flesh your sons and your daughters shall prophesy. Your young men shall see Visions your old men shall dream dreams and on your manservant and on your maidservants. I will pour out my spirit in those days and they shall prophesy. I will show wonders in heaven about What is so strange about this versus? As you might be aware of the Hebrew Community was a very structured Community. You have the high priest. You have the priest you have the men you have everyone else and then you have the limit and you know it except except maybe it's that is worse now or equality. I'm not sure but that wasn't the case was a very structured community and when the spirit of the Lord would come up on someone it was expected that the Lord would come first to the high priest or to the King go to the ruler or in the palace. What year was the prophet says that in the last days all this will be turn around every this is the Fulfillment nowadays but its fulfillment started at the time of the Virgin are there would be what is called a role reversal. There will be a role reversal. And this is how would understand that. The spirit of God has started working in the lives and in the heart of people you see in the book of Samuel God was quiet for so many years for hundreds of years. He hasn't spoken to the people and then it got started to speak to the people and then he said that the voice of the Lord was hurt. This was at beginning of God's communicating again with the people of the Prophet 400 years before Christ. God was silent for 400 years, but finally in the days of the Virgin Mary started to speak but this time he was not coming to speak to the hierarchs. He was not coming to speak to those who are in leadership positions. He said that the spirit of the Lord will come to speak in the mouth of lonely people of humble people and of simple people. This is why the Virgin Mary Said Today behold. I'm the maid servant of the road. It was a fulfillment of this verse in the Book of Joel chapter 2 and verses 17 18 and 19 by saying that God will pour out his spirit in the last days on the menservants and I will pour out my spirit and those days on my maidservants Who are the maidservants. Servants the workers the simple people and the Lord looked at the Virgin Mary and said this is the soul that I want to work in. You see the gospel Guided by the holy spirit is very clear and structured because in fulfillment of these verses we find that in the beginning of the book of Acts. God is speaking through the mouths of simple people and of lonely people and the Virgin Mary is no exception. You know that the gospel doesn't have a lot of humor. The Bible is is usually it is pretty straightforward to me. because send Matthew a long ways. Saint Luke is setting us up for something and then all of a sudden we are shocked. I need sang the following now in the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar. So that's called how many and how many important people so we have during the reign of Tiberius Caesar Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea and the region of track Unitas. I'm not sure I can I test is it an infection. Something stuck when itis endlessness tetrick of Abilene five higher-ranked people and then he continues the following us and Caiaphas were high priest. Royalties and two high priest why is he saying all of this introduction came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness? I personally find it humorous. Why because something that is amazing cyprians of the word of God even to high priests who were supposed to be God's agents and all of a sudden, you know, I came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness away from all of this and all of this commotion and commercialization. The word of God comes to the simple people who are already in their heart. My beloved God is Not deceived with the outward appearance. One of the amazing stories that I love in the book of Samuel about the story of David Son of Jesse. When he went to Jesse's house, and he said that God told me that you have the next ruler you have the next can get I have to annoy someone from your children and he started looking at all the time and the strong and the mighty and itch when he says not that one not this one not this one. I don't want that one I want is there anyone else is in a nice and blond and good-looking and whatever, you know, but he is taking care of some cheap. He said I want this one. I want the one that no one knows about that cares more about his heart and his singing and his sons that is taking out into the Wilderness the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness was the maid servant of the Lord. She was the simple one. She was the humble one. She's the one that cared about the inside. Send me a text with his well-known verse for man looks at the outward appearance. But God looks at the heart that looks like inside what we are all about what we are our true selves when no one else is looking when we are in our rooms sending Garden email and knowing that he is very real to us in our lives. This is the Beautiful. This is these are the beautiful verses that we have her today. The Virgin Mary said he has shown strength with his arm. He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their Thrones and exalted the lonely. He has put down the mighty from their Thrones and resulted the loading the Hungry with good things and that it she has sent away empty. This is what we are saying about the whole concept of role reversal. But then comes the question. What about my responsibilities? Is it true that if I'm in the picture and if I'm a teacher or Sunday school service in the church, that means I am proud of myself. Again. God has given each and every one a gift remember that the Virgin Mary for an explanation from the engine. How could this be? But this and right away. She said I am the handmaid of the Lord whatever he tells me I will do and this is the amazing thing about having a heart that is ready and willing to serve being humble in your heart. God wants to work in this humidity and in this kind of things he wants to plant His seeds how amazing it this time. We see so many examples of people who are willing and ready to work for the Lord and in his field now is the time now is the time when there is a return to God so many people now are coming back to the dance and sing. How Can we live at through and an honest life in Jesus Christ Our Lord, how can we not become a stumbling block to others? We want to live through their honesty for the Lord yesterday in our meeting will send that. We want to dedicate this upcoming year to build ourselves spiritually for our own Spiritual Development in our knowledge for God Scripture. This is an individual that is accepted by God the one who is humble in the spirit just like the Virgin Mary the maid servant of the Lord is glorious in his power and he's ready to work in us if we just submit to him like the holy virgin. Lady has done to us this day and every day of her life may be acceptable in his sight and that he may look at us and see a heart that is ready to Glory Days of Our Lives and glory be to God forever and ever.