West End United Methodist Church

Surprising Joy

Speakers:Rev. Will McLeane
Topics:Advent, Sunday service

Today, the fourth Sunday of Advent and also Christmas Eve, the scripture is the section of Luke where the young Mary responds to the announcement of her pregnancy with “the Magnificat,” praising God for raising her from her modest place to this place of honor as mother of this holy infant.  This comes when Mary famously visits her cousin, Elizabeth, who is also pregnant, blessed at an old age with a child who will turn out to be John the Baptist.  The words of Isaiah, which we have been reading through Advent, may seem to promise something way off in the future, but for these two, the surprise and joy are immediate.  At times we can look at the words of The Magnificat and identify with the rich and well-fed, who, as Mary proclaims, are brought down.  But we each have our low points, and if we hear God’s word, we are called to work to help others who are not as fortunate as we are, and in so doing, not only will those who receive our help experience surprise and joy, but we may well do so, too.   (NOTE: Reflecting the importance of the Word, the video begins with the scripture, but once it starts you can scroll back to the beginning of the service if you want.  The entire service is videoed.)


  • Luke :1:46-55


Bulletin for This Christmas Eve Morning Service, 2023


Surprising Joy (scripture, Children's Moment, and sermon)