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Mary Christmas

(2)

Sermon shared by John Braland

December 2010
Summary: Mary’s example teaches us that godly men and women still understand that God’s favor still rests on them. And Mary teaches us that godly men and women still respond to God’s calling. When God leads us to do something we need to follow, we need trust God.
Audience: General adults
Sermon:
Every morning the kids get up and prepare for school. Kathi makes them breakfast and packs their lunches and we get them ready to board the bus. And now that it’s cold out the kids don’t want to stand at the bus stop for very long because they will get cold and we don’t want to have them wait too long inside in case the bus driver doesn’t see any kids on the corner and drives right by. So recently I have been taking my place at our table with a cup of coffee looking out the window as the family bus watchman. As soon as I see the headlights I make the announcement that the bus is coming, the bus is coming, the bus is coming. Most of the time most of the kids are already out waiting for the bus but sometimes everybody is moving a little slow and nobody is ready so by the time I cry for the bus the kids have 20 seconds to suit up and run out to the bus stop. And most of the time everything works out just like it should. But not always.

This past weekend Kathi was home visiting her parents with Josh and I was put in charge of getting the girls on the bus. I set my alarm for 6:30 which would give me plenty of time to get up and get them ready. But something went wrong. My alarm never went off and when I woke up at 7:30 I knew that I missed it. The Scriptures declared that the Messiah was coming. Everybody knew he was on his way. Isaiah 7:14 declared it.

“14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14 NIV

And the prophet Micah under the direction of the Holy Spirit even predicted where he would be born.

2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Micah 5:2 NIV

The prophecies had been written. The Scriptures had proclaimed it. People had been looking forward to the arrival of the Messiah for centuries, there was even a buzz in the air and rumors on the ground but nobody expected the hope of the world to arrive thought the hips of a woman and lay resting in a stable during their lifetime. But the bus was on the way. Some people like the shepherds and wise men caught it while others seemingly slept right through it.

Mary was an average teenager who was probably about 14 when her life changed in a way that she never could have imagined. She was a godly woman who was busy making plans for her upcoming wedding to a fine young carpenter named Joseph. She probably spent her days working and preparing to start her new life with her new husband. The wedding, the worry, the excitement all must have consumed her days. Like you and I she was busy making her own plans doing her own thing on an ordinary day when suddenly the angel Gabriel came to her with the most extraordinary news that he was here and God chose her to carry his son. She was to become pregnant with the promised Christ child by the power of the Holy Spirit. It was time, God’s time, and now her time. God’s favor rested on her. The story unfolds in Luke 1.

“26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, 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
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