Sermon Title:  Upside Down Backwards Faith

Summary:  Mary’s song gives a preview of the themes not only in Luke-Acts, but
of the kingdom as well.  God’s ministry of mercy/compassion comes to those
who fear him.  The ministry of compassion involves concrete expressions of
moral, social and economic reversals in the kingdom.  The ultimate reversal will
be the judgement in the end.  For now, we reflect God’s vision in the kingdom
through a ministry of compassion.  

Know:  The God shows compassion to those who fear him by showing them
honor and value

Feel:  Greatfulness that will motivate the hearer to show compassion to others

Do:  Identify ways to show compassion to someone in the life of the hearers

Text:  Luke 1:39-56

Scripture reading:  Phil 2:5-11

1.  Cleaned out garage - boxes that had turned upside down, mess inside
	a.  Like Titanic - Turned sideways, dishes all over floor, what a mess
	b.  There is a way upside down goes from mess to everything in place
	c.  If your life a mess - Maybe it needs to be turned upside down
2.  Text:  Lk 1:39-56
	a.  Key verse:  v.50 - “Mercy/ compassion/ pity”
	b.  Toward those who fear him
	c.  What does that compassion look like?
3.  Looks backwards or upside-down
	a.  Acts 17:6 - Christians turned the world upside down (KJV)
	b.  Jesus initiated an upside down, backwards kingdom
	c.  Several things were reversed
4.  Will look at 3 reversals in the kingdom

I.  Social Reversal (v.51-52)
	A.  Humbled the proud and lifted up the humble
		1.  Gnomic Aorist - Past tense expresses habitual action
		2.  These statements are timeless
		3.  In other words, describes God’s character
	B.  Examples:
		1.  From the Old Testament
			a.  Nebuchadnezzar - Dan 4:29-30, 34-37
			b.  Joseph - Gen 38ff
		2.  In Luke/Acts
			a.  Acts 12:20-23 - Herod accepts worship and dies
			b.  (Lk 5:27-32) - Call Levi - Not come to call righteous
		3.  Lk 22:24-27
			a.  Greatest is the least in the kingdom
			b.  1 Cor 1:26-29
				- Not many wise, mighty, noble
				- God chose foolish, weak, base things, despised, 
		4.  Jesus turn your world upside down, or right side up
	C.  ILL:  Campaign, many baptisms
		1.  Complaint - A lot of them seem needy, lots of work and time
		2.  Yet isn’t that what kingdom about?
			a.  World sees a nothing, a nobody
			b.  God sees a somebody
		3.  Mary acknowledges this
			a.  Lk 1:48 - God epiballw - Looks at, gazes, notices, 
			     considers, cares about  his humble slave
			b.  Offering at temple - Jesus “notices” the widow, Lk 21
	D.  May not feel your 2 cents are worthy much
		1.  God notices, he sees
		2.  Somebody become nobody, and the nobody somebody
		3.  Rom 12:10 - Outdo one another in showing honor
		4.  We all equally valuable in God’s eyes

II.  Economic Reversal (v.53)
	A.  Could get the wrong idea
		1.  Some think it is evil to be rich, divine to be poor
		2.  1 Thess 3 - If person not work, he is not to eat
			a.  Proverbs say a lot about sluggard - is poor
			b.  If poor due to laziness, God wont bless you
		3.  Context of Luke 1 - v.50 - Talking about the godly poor
	B.  How are the rich sent away empty and the poor filled?
		1.  Spiritual dimension (Lk 18:18-23)
			a.  Rich young ruler went away empty
			b.  Why?  Didn’t hunger for God
			c.  If hunger & thirst for righteousness, will be filled
		2.  But, need to avoid tendency to over-spiritualize this
			a.  Not only talking about spiritual things
			b.  Also speaking of material things
		3.  Jesus didn’t spiritualize the message (Lk 6:30-36)
			a.  Need to lend, expect nothing in return
			b.  Be “merciful” (or compassionate)
			c.  Compasison has a very practical, relevant application
		4.  Look how this principle of mercy worked in early church
			a.  Acts 2:45 - Selling & sharing with those in need
			b.  Acts 6:1-6 - Deacons to feed widows
			c.  Acts 11:28 - Famine, sent financial relief
			d.  (Lk 18:28-30) - Gain NOW and in next life
				- Book of Acts gives insight into this verse
	C.  ILL:  Traveling across New York, blizzard
		1.  Broke down in Syracuse, called the church
		2.  Directed us to mechanic, was going to put us up for the night
		3.  Other examples
			a.  Help to church of Christ disaster relief
			b.  Benevolence in our body
	D.  That is mercy, and compassion
		1.  We are family, and we help each other
		2.  We do what we can

III.  Spiritual Reversal (v.54-55)
	A.  Hesitate to call it this, all we have been talking about is spiritual
	B.  Need to look at the big picture
		1.  What is Israel?  
			a.  Not just ethnic, Israel has been transformed
			b.  God’s people no longer limited to ethnic Jews
			c.  Rom 2:25-29; 11:24 - We grafted it, a Jew inwardly
		2.  (v.50) - Mercy is to those who fear God
		3.  Example:  Acts 10-11 - Cornelius a God fearer,, was saved
		4.  Cross was a huge reversal
	C.  Saw it in scripture reading - Phil 2:5-11
		a. Jesus poured self out, God exalted him
	D.  Have you turned yourself upside down and poured out?  (Invitation)

1.  Lk 1:46 - Mary said “my soul magnifies the Lord”
	a.  To magnify means to make larger
	b.  Becomes more visible - glorify God - reveal his nature
	c.  In this song, Mary magnifies his mercy/compassion
2.  How can we magnify his compassion in our lives?  
	a.  Turn our world upside down
	b.  (Gal 3 ) - Neither Jew, Greek, Slave nor Free, all fellow heirs
	c.  But from God’s perspective it is right side up
3.  Somebodies become nobodies, nobodies become somebodies
	a.  We are to outdo one another in showing honor/value
	b.  What ministries of compasison can you do?
		- How can I honor someone else?
		- Have done it through showers, birthdays, recognize graduation...
		- Have done it through benevolence to each other
4.  How are you going to turn your world upside down?
	-  Bring the kingdom into lives of family and freinds

Questions for Small Group Discussion