Summary: An advent series about letting go of the things that lead us away from Jesus.

Letting Go - Control

December 22, 2019

It’s not easy to let go of much . . . is it? It’s not easy to give up those favorite old sweatshirts that know every curve and twist of your body. Even though it’s pretty ripped apart. And if you get a new one, we tend to still wear the old one. Giving up distractions means I can’t watch TV and talk to Debbie at the same time. Nope, that doesn’t work!

Letting go of bitterness and anger and offering forgiveness is another one. I like being angry and bitter. Tis the season, ‘bah humbug.’ Yup, that’s what we’ve been looking at for the past 3 weeks. Next week, we’re going to end the year looking at what it means to let go of ourselves! That should be fun!

We’re in a series called Letting Go, and we’re talking about letting go of some of the things in this world that hold us back spiritually. Today, I’m going to focus on one simple thought. It’s not an easy one. Most of us struggle with it.

We’re going to let Luke 1 speak to us about letting go of - - - - CONTROL.

I’m curious, how many of you would honestly say that there’s at least one area of your life, that you love to control. Raise your hands up right now. No finger pointing at your neighbor.

As we move towards celebrating the birth of Jesus, I want to read a longer section of scripture from Luke 1. I’ll be reading from Luke 1:26-38 - -

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. - Luke 1:26-38

Some of you may be confused about something going on in your life. You’re asking, Why is this happening? I never thought I would experience this. Lord, I can’t handle this, I don’t know what to do. I want to take control. I need to figure this out. I need control. Mary was in that situation as well.

Did you know Mary quoted the Beatles. She said Let it be. Let it be to me according to your word.

Verse 29 tells us Mary was greatly agitated, disturbed, confused! And yet she says let it be. Let it be. Some of you may be thinking - this is the perfect message for my spouse. This is for my mother-in-law. I’m glad they’re gonna hear this one. You’re thinking, ‘I’m not controlling. I’m just aggressively helpful. I’m not controlling, I’m just thoroughly organized.’

Some of us want to control everything. Your kids know it. You want to control what they look like, where they go, who they hang out with, what they do, where they go to college, who they marry, how many kids they’re gonna have, how they’re gonna take care of you when you’re old. You want to control them.

We’re wearing out our spouses. How you chew, how you dress, what you say, what you want, where you go, how you load the dishwasher, how you vacuum.

We want to control what people think about us. Social media is your greatest weapon. You get to show them the life you want them to see, filtered, edited. It took you 37 attempts to get the Christmas photo by the tree. You almost gave away a kid and divorced your spouse, you were so mad at each other, but your hashtag is #blessed! I’ve been down that road.

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