Summary: Learning how to overcome the feeling of loneliness through the example of Joseph of Nazareth.
SERIES: CHRISTMAS CLASSICS
(adapted from a series from Southeast Christian Church)
MATTHEW 1:18-25; 2:13-15, 19-21
This morning we start a new series called Christmas Classics. This series is developed around well-known movies based around the theme of Christmas. The first message is : Home Alone.
I’m not sure how many of you have seen this movie but it is a very funny film to watch. Here is a basic summary of the plot and the characters:
It’s the story of 8-year-old, Kevin McCallister, who lives with his wealthy family in a large house in
Chicago. For Christmas, the family is taking a vacation to Europe. As all the relatives show up, there is a
lot of confusion in the house, and Kevin, being in that in-between age where he is neither cute nor mature,
causes a ton of trouble.
When things get out of control, he is sent to the attic bedroom to sleep. In the midst of this tantrum,
Kevin tells his mother who punished him that he hated her and that he wished he’d never have to see his
family ever again.
The next morning arrives and everyone wakes up late. In all the hustle and bustle of trying to get out the
door and make it to the airport on time, Kevin is forgotten, left sleeping in the attic. All the while, the
parents believe Kevin is with them, hanging out with his cousins.
Kevin finally wakes up to find that he is the only one in the house. And in his understanding, he comes to
the conclusion that his wish has been granted – his family has disappeared – to his delight!
So now he is home alone with the full run of the house. He eats all the junk food he wants. And he
doesn’t have to answer to anyone. He can do whatever he wants. He can watch whatever he wants on
television. He can go into his brother’s room and snoop all he wants. He can play with anything that he
wants. And nobody is there to tell him, “No! You can’t do that!” Nor is there anyone to make fun of him
when he does whatever he wants.
Kevin’s life begins to have added excitement when two crooks, Harry and Marv, are robbing houses in
the neighborhood, as most families are away on vacations, and they target Kevin’s house next. In the movie,
of course, we laugh hysterically as Kevin successfully sets up booby traps that will capture the crooks.
But as the success of his antics comes to an end, he discovers he has a problem. Being home alone is not
what he thought it would be. His freedom has brought on problems that are worse. He’s lonely. And now
he is sorry that he has wished his family away and wants them back again.
Have you ever felt lonely? Lee Strobel, in his book God’s Outrageous Claims said that people today will admit any problem - drugs, divorce, alcoholism “but there’s one admission that people are loath to make,
whether they’re a star on television or someone who fixes televisions in a repair shop. It’s just too embarrassing. It penetrates too deeply to the core of who they are.” “People don’t want to admit that they are (sometimes) lonely.” He continues, “Loneliness is such a humiliating malady that it ought to have its own politically correct euphemism: ‘relationally challenged.’ Or its own telethon. Anything to make it safer to confess. Because right now it’s a taboo, an affliction of losers and misfits. And - to be honest - of respectable people like you and me.”
According to Los Angeles psychiatrist, Dr. Leonard Zunin, despite the fact that the average American meets as many people in one year as their ancestors met in a life time 100 years ago, loneliness is the main problem facing Americans today.” Author Thomas Wolfe said, “The whole conviction of my life now rests upon the belief that loneliness, far from being a rare and curious phenomenon, peculiar to myself and a few other solitary men, is the central and inevitable fact of human existence.”
Loneliness is a common, everyday experience for a lot of people. And the feeling of loneliness is compounded at Christmas because this is the time of year when families get together and everyone exchanges love and joy.
But the feeling of loneliness at Christmas is nothing new. The very first Christmas, Joseph faced situation after situation in which he must have felt alone. Let’s look together at three events in Joseph’s life that show us how he faced loneliness and how God showed him that he was not alone.
When he felt betrayed by one he trusted
Mt. 1:18-25 – “This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be