Summary: A sermon that explores how advent was for Joseph and Mary the gateway to an adventure with god and describes how we can do the same. Two stories adapted from tony Campolo

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The Birth of Jesus Christ

18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.Lk 1:35 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorceDt 24:1 her quietly. 19 Lk 1:35; Dt 24:1

20 But after he had considered this, an angelS Ac 5:19 of the Lord appeared to him in a dreamS Mt 27:19 and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[c] Jesus is the Greek form of Joshua, which means the Lord saves.S Lk 1:31 because he will save his people from their sins."Ps 130:8; S Lk 2:11S Jn 3:17Ac 5:3113:23,28S Ro 11:14; Tit 2:14 21 Lk 2:11; Ac 13:23,28

22 All this took place to fulfillMt 2:15,17,23; 4:14; 8:17; 12:17; 21:4; 26:54,56; 27:9; Lk 4:21; 21:22; 24:44; Jn 13:18; 19:24,28,36 what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"[d] Isaiah 7:14Isa 7:148:8,10—which means, "God with us." 23 Isa 8:8,10

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angelS Ac 5:19 of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.ver 21S Lk 1:31 25 Lk 1:31

This Sunday –

Fourth Sunday of Advent.

The beginning of a great advent ure.

I remember getting my hair cut on the 17th of August 1973.

I remember the barber who was cutting my hair who happened to be a bit of a cult hero in Dunedin at the time – well he was chatting away like life was just normal.

But see I was on the edge of something.

The very next day I was to be married to my fiancée Heather Grace and I remember thinking – this guy doesn’t understand – I am about to make the most momentous change in my life and he just wants to make small talk.

Over the 34 years since that day life has been a great adventure and journey of faith.

That is only my little life – but imagine the great adventure that Mary and Joseph were embarking on all those years ago.

On the face of it they were just on a journey from Nazereth to Bethlehem to fulfill some requirements about a census.

No big deal.

Inconvienient perhaps and very poor timing, given, that Mary was pregnant.

But just an ordinary day in the life of two respectable but relatively unremarkable residents of Nazereth.

But something had happened before that made this journey – momentous.

Before I got my hair cut in 1973 I had met and got to know Heather to such a degree that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. In fact I still do.

But before Joseph and mary set off for Jerusalem there had been some remarkable changes in their lives.

Some of those changes they knew about.

Some of them they probably didn’t or at the bwest were only bvaguely aware of.

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