A Virgin Who Worships

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Christians these days talk a lot about praise and worship. But we often have little idea what these concepts are. Praise and worship aren’t perfect synonyms, so mentioning them together can be confusing. Praise is a way of worship, even the most accessible way of worship, but they aren’t the same. We regularly speak of worship as declaring God’s worth. He is worthy of praise, but He is also worthy of our prayers, our gifts, our listening, and our obedience. Praise is the way we declare God’s worth by repeating what His Word says about Who He is. Mary does this in the song she sang after Gabriel announced her pregnancy. She declares that she will exalt and rejoice in Him, that is, Who He is. She praises Him for paying attention to her, for doing great things, and for being holy. She praises Him for raising up the lowly and putting down the proud. And she praises Him for His everlasting mercy that extends all the way from Abraham to her. This kind of praise requires a couple of things from us that Mary exemplifies. First, it requires humility. More than once in her song, Mary sings that what God is doing isn’t about her. She is God’s bondslave. She is the humble one, God is raising up. We won’t praise God when we want to make our own name great or when we think we are better than everyone else. Second, this kind of praise also requires faith. It is Elizabeth’s prophecy blessing Mary for believing God would fulfill His promises that prompts Mary’s song. To praise God we must believe that He is. To praise God we must believe what the Bible says about Him. To praise God we must believe that He has done great things. Believing is simple, but it isn’t easy. Everyday circumstances confront us that raise doubts in our minds and hearts. When evil gains the upper hand, we question if God is real or can do what He says. When trouble and trials burden our hearts, we wonder if God cares about us. But in an interesting twist, our praise that requires faith also builds our faith. It doesn’t take much faith to praise God. And when we praise Him, we are repeating what is true about Him and engraving those truths on our hearts. This makes it easier to believe in the future. So let us join Mary in humble faith and worship our God in praise. He deserves it for paying attention us and doing mighty things for us, just like He did for Mary. –Pastor Rory

Sunday at Liberty

9AM: Unifying Prayer–1 Thessalonians 5:17

10AM: Pastor Nate–A Virgin Who Worships–Luke 1:39-56 (sermon notes)

11:45AM: Potluck

12:30PM: Members’ Meeting

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