Thursday, July 3, 2008

Homily for the Visitation of Mary

July 2, 2008
Trinity Lutheran Church
Worden, IL

Visitation of Mary

Luke 1:39-47

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” exclaimed Elizabeth. And why not? Jesus had spoken greetings to Elizabeth through Mary which had caused baby John the Baptist to leap in faith in his mother’s womb and for Elizabeth herself to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Indeed, why not proclaim the wonders of what had just happened? But there is something more important going on here. Something which Elizabeth realizes when she proclaimed that “Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” For it was told to Mary just weeks earlier that she would carry the Son of God in her own womb. But why then did God even need to come as a child in the first place? Couldn’t He have chosen some other means of salvation?

Repent for thinking such a blasphemous thought. Look at instead, the fruit from which you come. Adam was created in the image of God, a son of God in the very sense that he was created by God. Yet, he sinned. Abraham wasn’t much better. He mocked God and laughed when God said that his old wife Sarah would bear a son. Moses disobeyed God’s command and didn’t uphold him as holy in the sight of Israel. God prohibited him from entering the promised land. David was an adulterer with Bathsheba. Solomon had 700 wives which he loved more than the Lord so he turned and followed their pagan gods. This is a broken lineage filled with sinners.

And these men, we hold them up as example of faith! Repent, for you are as much sinners from the fruit of Adam as these men are. Abraham doubted God would provide for him. Have you not also doubted at times whether God will provide for you? God said, “Moses, do this”, and Moses disobeyed. Jesus says love your neighbor, but how often do you get angry at your neighbor for the slightest mishap? David was an adulterer to break the 6th commandment, but how often do you not love your own spouse perfectly and thus break it as well? Solomon certainly broke the first commandment by turning to others gods, but do you not also choose sleep or money or some other worldly thing over the things of God?

So, see your sin and cling to Christ. For this fruit of Mary’s womb was born into the lineage of sinners that He might break sin’s hold on you. He was born a man that he might perfect all the failures of all men, including you. God became man, so that where you doubted God, He trusted the Father perfectly. God became man, so that where you failed to do the Father’s will, He did it perfectly. God became man, so that where you failed to love your spouse perfectly, He became bridegroom to the church, to you, and loved her perfectly. So also as all men from the fruit of Adam must do, He died.

For this is the reason God chose to be born as a human. This is the reason why Mary is called blessed. This is the reason why the child who was growing inside Mary had come: that He might go to the cross, that he might suffer for your sins, that His righteousness might be counted as your righteousness. And in his resurrection from the dead you have the assurance that you too will have life. For just as you were born into the sinful lineage of Adam, through your Baptism into Christ, you were born from above into the forgiveness of sins. And there you are clothed in the righteousness of Christ. And sin, and death, and the devil have no power over you. This is what Christ has accomplished for us.

So, like Mary we too magnify the Lord. Having been given the gift of salvation by the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, we rejoice in what He has done. We rejoice in loud Glorias and Hosannas that our Lord still offers this same forgiveness to us today in His Supper. Rejoice that God became man, that you might eat and drink of him unto life eternal.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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