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Summary: This sermon looks at the faith Joseph needed for that first Christmas

Faith In Christmas

12-11-05 Isaiah 7:13-17 Luke 1:26-38

Let me tell you about my idea for a another ridiculous show on Jerry Springer. Couples who are engaged and the woman gets pregnant before the marriage, but the future husband does not know she’s pregnant. Not only that DNA tests reveal that the child is not the future husband’s child.

Can you imagine it. Laquita is sitting on the stage floor looking real and sexy. In comes Jacques. The audience claps at this rather good looking fellow. He sits down next to Laquita. Jerry says to him, “Jacques we invited you to this show today because you and Laquita are engaged.” Jacques is all smiles and again the audience claps. Then Jerry says, Laquita has something to tell you. Laquita says, “Jacques, I want you to know that I’m pregnant.” The audience goes ahhh in approval.

Jacques is sitting their stunned saying nothing. The audience thinks its great. Jerry then jumps in and says, “but I want you to brace yourself Jacques, the DNA testing reveals that you are not the father of the child. The audience starts yeling uh oh, uh oh. They expect Jacques to go wild. Jacques jumps up and says, “I don’t need any DNA testing to tell me that I’m not the father. Up until now, Laquita has been telling me she was a virgin, and I know good an doggone well I haven’t touched her. So there’s no way that child could be mine.

Jerry asks, “Does this mean the wedding is off.” Jacque responds “Is the wedding off, what kind of stupid question is that. What would you do in my shoes?” I ask you the question as well, “what would you do in Jacques shoes?

It’s almost Christmas time. When we think about Christmas today, it’s so far removed from what the Christmas story is about that many of us are not even aware that it could have been a hit on Jerry Springer. We hear people talking about getting in the Christmas spirit as though Christmas is nothing more than us feeling good inside about giving and getting presents and telling one another merry Christmas.

I do not want to know whether or not you are in the Christmas spirit. What I want to know is do you have faith in Christmas. I’m not talking about do you believe in Christmas as you would ask a child do you believe in Santa Claus. To have faith in Christmas means, that you actually believe that God was so concerned about us as human beings, that God actually chose to become one of us, to talk clearly to us.

Before you can have faith in Christmas, you have to have faith to believe that you actually matter to God. The God who created the earth, the sun, the moon and the stars, is actually interested in you and all your imperfections. You see you can’t read the bible story about Christmas without running into that word Savior. The only reason a savior being born is good news is that somebody needed to be saved. If a fire truck came racing down the street and pulled in front of your house, nobody shouts good news, the fire truck has arrived unless there is a ____________. Otherwise you’re left wondering, what are they doing here.

The only reason for recognizing Christmas is that you have faith to believe that God decided to come and live among us. Now it’s interesting and disappointing somewhat in looking at how God decided to come and live among us. First God didn’t let the world know, “I’m about to make my entrance, yoo hoo look at me. He didn’t write it in the sky.”

Second, “God didn’t choose well known celebrities or powerful political leaders to have as his parents which could have given him a great platform.” Third, “God didn’t choose an easy transition to come through the lives of others. He put some people in some difficult situations in order to come.

Now I want you to meet a couple back in the first century. A guy by the name of Joseph had his eye on this good looking teenager and wanted her for his wife. Joseph or his parents, struck a deal with her parents, and they told him, now in order to marry our daughter you have to pay us such and such a price. Joseph wanted this girl so badly, that he came up with the money and paid it to her parents. An announcement was made of the upcoming marriage to all in the village. This exchange of money or property and the announcement, made their engagement as official as it could get.

Joseph and Mary were more than simply engaged in our sense of the word. They had entered all the contractual relationship of marriage, with the exception of having sexual intercourse. They had to wait a year before having sex. This engagement could only be broken by death or divorce. If the man died during this period, the woman would be considered a widow.

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