Summary: The whole Christmas story is really a love story with several main characters. Mary loved her husband, her son and God.

I.The whole Christmas story is really a love story with several main characters.

A.I am truly aghast at the fact that the Christmas story is being total forgotten this year.

1.There was a time when NBC showed Amal and the Night Visitors every year on TV.

a.It was a tradition.

b.Today the TV traditions are Rudolph, and the Grinch that Stole Christmas.

2.Every where we go it is “Happy Holidays” or Seasons Greetings.

a.Where is Merry Christmas?

b.People are so afraid to offend, stores bend over backwards to focus on the secular meaning of Christmas.

3.I am so happy that Kings Chapel is having its Drive Through Nativity and advertising it all over the Community and on the local transit buses.

a.We need to put more displays in our front yards with manger scenes and less with Santa Claus and Reindeer.

B.People and especially Children today are truly ignorant of the Christmas Story which is really the Greatest Love Story ever told.

1.We begin with Mary, the woman who love her husband, her son, and God.

II. Mary was a woman who loved her soon to be husband.

26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee, called Nazareth,

A.When God’s love story begins with a young peasant woman in a little forgotten town with a bad reputation.

1.It begins with the archangel Gabriel who was the messenger of God to Daniel, to John the Baptist’s father Zacharias and now to Mary.

a.All appearances of Gabriel recorded in the Bible are connected with the promise about the coming of the Messiah.

b.In Christian tradition, Gabriel is sometimes identified as the archangel whose voice is heard at the Second Coming of Christ <1 Thes. 4:16>.

2.The name NAZARETH means watchtower was where Mary lived.

a.For centuries Nazareth has been a beautifully secluded town nestled in the southernmost hills of the Lebanon Mountain rang.

b.Nazareth was not an important part of the national and religious life of Israel.

c.Nazareth had a rather bad reputation in morals and religion and a certain crudeness in the Galilean dialect, prompted Nathaniel, when he first learned of Jesus of Nazareth, to ask, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" <John 1:46>.

B.27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

1.It was critical for Jesus to be born of a virgin because He must be conceived by the Holy Spirit and therefore not have the stain of original sin.

a.Isa 7:14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. (NAS)

b.Matt 1:23 "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which translated means, "God with us."

2.Virginity was a necessary part of a Hebrew marriage.

a.The law said a priest must not marry a widow, a divorced woman, or a prostitute, but only a virgin.

b.For a woman to lose her virginity was to jeopardize her chance to get married.

c.She was tainted since marriage was contract between two families which certain obligations.

d.For the husband to find his bride not a virgin was a breech of contract and therefore the marriage or betrothal would be annulled.

3.Mary was betrothed or engaged to Joseph which was a mutual promise or contract for a future marriage.

a.A betrothal was a contract between the bridegroom and the parents of the bride.

b.It was customary for the bridegroom to place a ring, a token of love and fidelity, on the bride's finger.

c.A betrothal usually lasted for one year.

d.Frequently people married at a young age, a fact which made the parents' choice a practical matter. Mary could have been as young as 12 and Joseph as young as 13.

C.Although romance before marriage was not unknown in Old Testament times, it played a minor role in the life of teenagers of that era.

1.They did not marry the person they loved; they loved the mate they married.

a.Love began at marriage.

2.And Mary loved Joseph and was willing to follow him any where he took their family.

a.She would follow Joseph to Egypt with their newborn because he said he had a dream that Herod was after them.

b.How many of you women would go to a strange land because your husband had a dream?

IIIMary would love her son very much.

28And coming in, he said to her, "Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you."

29But she was greatly troubled at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this might be.

30And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God.

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