Dynamic Downtown Worship in the Anglican Tradition

Toolbox for Sunday, December 20, 2015

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Title and Topic

Advent 4:   What Mary Teaches us About Discipleship 

Transformation and Witness

Last week, it was the discipleship through the call of Mary. Today, we look at how she lived through a great deal of uncertainty. Mary in that time began to sing what we now call, the Magnificat. This song actually echoes Hannah’s song (the mother of Samuel who wrote her own song for her son). Mary Glorifies God in song for His power. Both songs begin with Glory to God, which is always the first response for disciples in any and all situations.

The takeaway today is this: As disciples, giving Glory to God first in all situations, no matter how precarious, fearful, dangerous or unexplainable.

The constant takeaway is this: People would know that Discipleship is learning to love, look and live more like Jesus.


Psalm 34

1 Samuel 2: 1-10         Hannah’s Song

Luke 1:39-56               Mary’s Song

Teaching Questions/Ideas


What song has moved you recently, and why did it have such an effect?

Read Luke 1:39-56

1. Why do you think Mary went “in haste” to visit Elizabeth? (39)
2. How did God use Elizabeth to encourage Mary in a difficult situation? (41-46) How has God affirmed His will in your own difficult situation?
3. Describe Mary’s response and what the power of blessing teaches about discipleship.
4. For what does Mary glorify God (46-50)? For which of these attributes will you praise God and why?
5. What can you discern about Mary’s life from her song?
6. Stanley Jones wrote, “The Magnificat is the most revolutionary document in all the world.” How does Mary’s song call for revolution in the moral, social, and economic spheres of life (51-53)? What does this revolution say about the kingdom Christ came to establish?
7. Compare Hannah’s prayer in 1 Samuel 2 with Mary’s song. (See 1 Samuel 2:1,2, 4, and 5 with Luke 1:1, 49, 52, and 53) What do you learn about the role scripture in the spiritual formation of a disciple from this comparison?
8. Consider what Mary taught her children. How is Mary’s passion reflected in the lives of her children (Jesus and James) for generations to come? How are you encouraged to pass on your passion for the truth of Christ to those God has entrusted to your care?


You are to be who God meant you to be, as the wise of the church have always known. One who has learned this so well is the mother of Jesus, Mary … the story of her past being swallowed up in the goodness of God.  Scot McKnight from The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others

How has God swallowed up your past with His goodness? How might His redemption figure into to the calling He has for your life?