PREPARATION FOR THE VISITATION
THE BIG IDEA: The story of Mary and Joseph in the first Christmas teaches us about the greatest gift that God has given to us - His Son Jesus, and salvation, joy, peace and hope.
• Christmas is all about celebrating Jesus – the Saviour of the world.
I. MARY THE BLESSED:
“26 Now in the sixth month (of Elisabeth’s pregnancy with John) the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” (Luke 1:26-28, NKJV).
• Here we are introduced to Mary: A pure virgin who was favoured and blessed by God.
• Both Joseph and Mary were of the lineage of King David of Israel.
• The Lord looked for someone walking in purity and humility to be the mother of Jesus.
• Most scholars believe that Mary was probably around 13 years old.
II. JESUS THE SAVIOUR:
“29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:29-33).
• Stop and think for a moment about how Mary must have been feeling: “She was troubled at his saying.” She was a teenage girl! What awesome responsibility…
• See the similarity in this passage with Isaiah’s prophecy about the Christ Child.
• “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom.” (Isaiah 9:6-7a, NKJV).
• PREACH JESUS!
ALL THINGS POSSIBLE:
“34 Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?" 35 And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible." 38 Then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.” (Luke 1:34-38, NKJV).
• Because Mary was a virgin, it was impossible for her to have a child. It was a miracle!
• When the Holy Spirit comes upon us today, God still does miracles!
• The Precious Promise: “For with God, nothing will be impossible.”
• This Christmas: what impossible situation are you facing in your family? Trust God!
o Are you struggling financially? Are you struggling with your health, relationships, struggling to find joy and peace? With God, nothing will be impossible.
• CHALLENGE: Pray and believe God for a miracle – ‘tis the season!
• We should have the same attitude as Mary: “I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be to me according to Your Word.” Amen!
III. JOSEPH THE JUST:
“18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.” (Matthew 1:18-19).
• The first thing we learn about Joseph – he was a just man.
• When he found out Mary was pregnant, he could have demanded she be stoned.
• However, he was going to break off the engagement instead, and not embarrass her.
“20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." 22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us." 24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.” (Matthew 1:20-25).
• Another thing we see about Joseph here is that he was quick to obey the Lord.
• One of the names of the Son of God is Jesus – which means Saviour.
• Another one of the names of Jesus here: Immanuel – which means God is with us.
• God is not watching us from a distance, but He wants to be involved in our lives!
LESSONS FROM JOSEPH AND MARY’S STORY:
• Like Mary, we should walk in purity, humility and obedience.
• Like Joseph, we should be just, compassionate and obedient.
• God’s looking for people that He can use today to bring Jesus to the world.
JESUS WANTS TO VISIT YOU TODAY:
“Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited and redeemed His people, And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of His servant David… Through the tender mercy of our God, With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:68-69,78-79).
• “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?” (Psalm 8:3-4).
CLOSING: Prayer for everyone to experience a visitation with joy, peace and hope.
Beausejour Community Church Website: www.beausejourchurch.ca
Pastor Chris Jordan’s Blog: http://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/