Summary: I can't always control my reaction but my response is my responsibility. For nothing is impossible with God.
Christmas Through the Eyes of a Woman
Luke 1:26-56; 2:19, 33-35
Rev. Brian Bill
All of our daughters were home last weekend and we had a blast buying a tree and putting up all the decorations. Unlike last year, our tree is still standing a week later and we’ve avoided any pre-Christmas catastrophes…so far. As we continue in our sermon series called, “Christmas Eyes,” today we’re going to look at Christmas through the eyes of a woman. I’m uniquely qualified to do this, growing up in a family with five women and now being blessed with four delightful daughters and a wonderful wife.
While I’ve watched my share of “chick-flicks” and have been to the American Girl store several times, my one true solace which I hold on to with dogged determination is my trusted friend…no, not Charlie our dog…but the remote for the TV.
Check out this picture that was taken in front of our tree. My sister-in-law Jeanine added this caption after one of our daughters posted the pic on Facebook: “Are you fighting over the remote?” I can’t believe she would even ask a question like that.
That reminds me of the store clerk who noticed a TV remote in a woman’s purse as she was searching for her wallet to pay for the things in her shopping cart. The curious clerk asked, “So, do you always carry your TV remote?” The customer replied, “No, but my husband refused to come shopping with me, and I figured this was the most evil thing I could do to him legally.”
Before we look at how a woman looks at Christmas, let me tell you where we’re headed the next two weeks. Next Sunday our focus will be on how a man sees Christmas as we view the astonishing events through the eyes of Joseph. Then, two weeks from today we’ll be meeting at the PTHS auditorium for our Christmas outreach at 10:00 a.m. Utilizing festive music from our children’s choirs, congregational Christmas tunes, joyful special music, an unforgettable drama and a short sermon, we’ll encounter Christmas through the eyes of a child. Speaking of children, can I encourage you to help a child of a prisoner who won’t have a Christmas present unless we participate in Project Angel Tree? Last year we weren’t able to do this because of a mix-up so this year we have even more names of children in need.
Please turn in your Bibles to Luke 1. Can I just say that we’re about to launch into something that is very dangerous? Because this seasonal story is so familiar to so many of us, we’re in danger of becoming complacent about Christmas. It’s really the one time of the year that we are most susceptible to falling into a rut. Instead of allowing Advent to astonish us, some of us are already immunized to the stunning reality of God coming in human flesh. It’s my prayer that we’ll get past all the Christmas clutter this season and discover what really happened 2,000 years ago when the babe in Bethlehem burst onto the scene. Marcel Proust has some great words in this regard: “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” It’s my hope that we will have new eyes to see the Nativity as we take a somewhat different approach each week.
I’m convinced that if we’re going to have a Merry Christmas we’re going to have to understand Mary’s Christmas. All that happened to Mary shook her up and put her in a place of shattered dreams, open criticism, whispers about her morality and questions from the man she loved. Mary may have wanted to find the remote so she could change the channel to HGTV. Some of you wish you could change the channel as well because you don’t like what’s been showing up on the screen of your life…
* Many of you are living with major disappointment
* Some of you are in the middle of a relational rupture
* Perhaps your marriage has blown up
* A number of you are processing some devastating health news
* My guess is that some of you have no idea how you’re going to afford Christmas
* Many of you wonder if your prodigal child will ever turn around
* A handful of you can’t stand your job but feel trapped
* Some of you just feel really sad
* A few of you can’t sleep at night
* Others are overwhelmed by life
* Perhaps someone close to you has died
* For some of you, your anger is eating you up
* Maybe you feel like you’ll never be loved
Unfortunately most of the images of Mary in the world of art depict her as so serene and almost distant with a halo on her head. Having said that, Boticelli’s painting called “The Annunciation” comes close to capturing Gabriel’s pleading and Mary’s shock as she tries to comprehend the news.