Acts of Advent

This year’s series on Advent will focus on the acts of Advent: adoration, activism, community, and expansion. Each week will be dedicated to one of these themes, and this week — the first week of Advent — we will focus on adoration.


Our text this morning is Luke 1:26-38 (below), where we see the Savior, Jesus, who is to be adored:

1. Because he is Savior.
2. Because he is Great.
3. Because he is Son of the Most High God.
4. Because he is the Davidic King.
5. Because he is the Eternal King.
6. Because he is the virginally-conceived Son of God.

Perhaps we need to be reminded that Christmas is not about us; it is about Jesus Christ.
Perhaps we need to be reminded that Christmas is not about what we get out of it; it is about what we give to God in adoration.
Perhaps we need to pause to see just how Jesus-centered Christmas is.

Luke 1:

26 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The
angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of
the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be
called [fn3] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37 For nothing is impossible with God.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • ChrisB

    “divinely-created Son of God”
    Can you elaborate on that a bit?

  • Pat

    None of those seem like worthy reasons for adoration to me. What about wisdom, kindness, and virtue?

  • Scot McKnight

    ChrisB,
    Thanks. I agree … “divinely-created” could broach all kinds of unintended ideas. I changed it to “virginally-conceived.”

  • http://homewardbound-cb.blogspot.com ChrisB

    Pat,
    There’s certainly nothing wrong with ” wisdom, kindness, and virtue” (which could probably be grouped under “great”), but saying Scot’s list doesn’t seem like “worthy reasons for adoration” surprises me.
    Jesus is the Savior — God made flesh, who emptied Himself to die in our place.
    Jesus is the Eternal king — He is creator, sustainer, judge, and ruler of the universe both material and spiritual.
    Even if the others didn’t move you, I would think we could all find cause for worship and adoration in that.

  • AprilK

    Thanks for the focus-adjustment, Scot. Advent/Christmas isn’t about what I’ll get out of it or about me. It’s about Jesus. I’m leading our house church through some Advent prayers and meditations this December. This is a good thing to keep in mind.

  • Karen

    Interesting focus, I agree. Another point of interest is Mary. How she responded. It made me ask myself, ‘how do I respond to God’? ,Or do I even hear Him? Another question that came was..’ do I feel favored by God, in any way? Scot, what do you think ‘favored’ means?

  • Scot McKnight

    Karen,
    A recipient of God’s special favor/grace.

  • Karen

    Thanks for the quick response. I guess from that meaning, it includes more than just Mary.

  • joanne

    i wonder what it would be like to be overshadowed by the most high God?

  • Pat

    ChrisB,
    ‘savior’ I might buy, but the rest, as Scott phrased them, don’t give any data about whether he is good or not. Are we supposed to adore kings just because they are kings, or ‘most high’ people just because they are most high?
    Pat

  • Your Name

    I know I am favored by God and very thankful for it.
    Since I was a kid I have felt a special calling.


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