Summary: Study the lives of Joseph and Mary to learn how to keep Christ at the center of Christmas.
Has there ever been a time when you had to make room in your life, for someone or something? When Judy and I first got married we lived in a 12’ x 60’ mobile home. When we first moved into that home we felt like we were living in a castle. We had an abundance of room. We did not have a lot of possessions. Shortly after we married we moved from Louisiana to Mississippi. We put everything we owned into a 12’ u-haul trailer. You can understand why, when we moved into the mobile home, we had plenty of room. There were three bed-rooms. We had so much room that I used one of the bed-rooms as my office. After fourteen months of marriage our first child arrived. It is amazing how one little baby can cause so much change. We went from an abundance of room to wondering how we were going to get everything into that home. My office was the first thing to go. I had to use a small storage room, in the corner of the church, for my office. We gladly made the necessary adjustments in order to make room for David, our first born.
That same principle applies to faith. When Jesus comes to live with you, you gladly make the necessary adjustments in order to welcome His arrival. The past two Sundays we have been discussing “Keeping Christ In Christmas.” The text is found in Mt. 2:1-12. In this passage there are three character groups. There is Herod, the villain. He wants to remove Jesus from the Christmas story. We studied him, week before last. Then there are two character groups who want to honor and serve Jesus. There were the wise men. We studied them last week. The final set of characters is Joseph and Mary, Jesus earthly parents. They kept Christ Jesus at the forefront of their lives. You might say they kept Christ in Christmas. They did this by making room for him.
If we are going to make room for Jesus in our Christmas and in our lives what does that require? Joseph and Mary had to make room for Jesus. Look at the text. “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.” (Mt. 1:18-25)
Why would a person choose to distance himself/herself from Jesus? That could have been true for Joseph.
1. Doubts can cause you to distance yourself from Jesus.
2. You can see Jesus as a threat. That will cause you to distance yourself from Him.
3. If you do not understand Him you will distance yourself from Him.
4. If you are living in unbelief you will distance yourself from Him.
It is encouraging to realize that Jesus parents, Joseph and Mary, who were chosen by God had to adjust to the idea of sharing their lives with Jesus. I think sometimes we get deceived into thinking there are some people for whom faith comes easy. They never doubt! They never struggle! They never have dark days! That was not true for Joseph and Mary. They had to adjust to the idea.
Joke: I heard a story about a train traveling through the night in a very violent rainstorm. The lightning flashes were almost blinding, the rain hitting the windows was deafening and the strong gusty winds rocked the train from side to side. When the lightening flashed and lighted up the darkness, the passengers could see the rising water along the tracks. This created terror in the minds of the passengers. Several passengers noted that through all the noise, lightning and wind, one of the passengers, a little girl, seemed to be at perfect peace. The adult passengers couldn’t figure out why the little girl was so calm during all this excitement. Finally, one passenger asked her, “How is that you can be so calm when all the rest of us are so worried about what might happen?” The little passenger smiled and said, “My father is the engineer.”