Summary: How do you celebrate Christmas or life for that matter when unexpected events ruin your best laid plans?

Celebrating Christmas…when the Grinch shows up!

Celebrating Christmas when the unexpected Occurs

Matthew 1:18-25

To be truly be able to celebrate Christmas when the unexpected occurs, you must…

Expect the unexpected to Occur

Trust God’s Sovereignty when the Unexpected Occurs

Follow in Obedience when the Unexpected Occurs


Have you ever had some major plans disrupted and things go nothing like you were anticipating due to no fault of your own?

Whenever you plan bigger events, that include other people, we open ourselves up to the possibility, even the probability of things not going according to plan.

Weddings are notorious for not going according to plan.

Take this wedding mishap for instance.

Chloe & Keith’s Wedding Disaster video – available on Youtube (40 sec)

Slide after video

Now this would be an awful interruption to this bride’s wedding plans.

As a pastor, I get to be involved in many weddings and see that things don’t always go as planned, but weddings are not the only time that big plans get made and things don’t go as planned.

Christmas is a time each year that many people make big plans for get togethers with family and friends and things don’t always turn out the way we anticipate.

Our society and all that we see in the movies and in Christmas Cards portray Christmas as just a perfect time of being together and celebrating in perfect circumstances.

But how do we celebrate when things don’t go according to plan?

How are we really supposed to celebrate when things happen to disrupt all that we had been hoping for and anticipating?

Series intro

Well, today we are beginning a Christmas series that deals with exactly that.

We have entitled it “Celebrating Christmas when the Grinch shows up”


Now I am sure the Grinch has shown up at everyone’s house at some point.

And what I mean by that, is that each of us have probably experienced circumstances that seek to steal away our joy and rob us of our ability to celebrate.

How do we celebrate when that happens?

Well, this morning, we are going to be going through the Christmas story as told by Matthew and looking at it from the slightly different perspective of things not going according to the plan of different individuals and what we might learn about how to truly celebrate when that is happening to us.

This morning we are going to be looking at

Matthew 1:18-25


This is a familiar passage to many of us, but let’s take a look at it afresh this year and see how God might help us to celebrate even when the unexpected disrupts our best laid plans.

Matthew 1:18-25

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. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream 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, because he will save his people from their sins."

22 All this took place to fulfill 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"—which means, "God with us."

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel 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.


Ok, so I want you to imagine for a moment the excitement of your engagement and the planning of your wedding.

Thinking through all the details and the reception, what a joyous time for most people.

Even in the culture of Mary and Joseph, where many marriages were often arranged, this was what girls dreamed of. Getting married and having a husband and raising kids.

The wedding celebration was often a week long event with food and drink and a great time of celebration. Imagine all of the hopes and dreams of how things “should” go, and not just in regards to the celebration, but in regards to the rest of their lives, because the circumstances that had come were life changing events, but the plans you had for your life, were now disrupted by these very unexpected events.

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