Summary: Lessons of tough faith from Mary that gives us a merry Christmas in a tough world
Dec. 2002 Grace International Baptist Church
Text: Luke 1:26-38
26In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."
29Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
34"How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"
35The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37For nothing is impossible with God."
38"I am the Lord’s servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.
2 friends were discussing family histories when one of them lamented that he knew little about his roots. “I’ve always wanted to have my family history traced,” he said, “But I can’t afford to hire someone. Any suggestions?”
“Sure” replied his friend, “Run for public office.”
Politicians know they’ll have little privacy when they run for office. Their family history becomes a public domain. So it is with Jesus. He ran for the “office” of the Savior of the World, the Messiah. And He too could not escape that scrutiny. Jesus’ beginning you see was scandalous. Born from an unwed mother, that could mean a huge disgrace and it could mean stoning for adultery, it’s not something u want. Today, …
nWe will learn a few things about Mary, Jesus’ mother.
nAnd we will see how her world is much like ours
nWe will learn more about faith in our world
A police officer pulled a guy over for speeding and had the following exchange: Officer: May I see your driver’s license? Driver: I don’t have one. I had it suspended when I got my 5th DUI. (Driving Under the Influence)
Officer: May I see the owner’s card for this vehicle? Driver: It’s not my car. I stole it.
Officer: The car is stolen? Driver: That’s right. But come to think of it, I think I saw the owner’s card in the glove box when I was putting my gun in there.
Officer: There’s a gun in the glove box? Driver: Yes sir. That’s where I put it after I shot and killed the woman who owns this car and stuffed her in the trunk.
Officer: There’s a BODY in the TRUNK?!?!? Driver: Yes, sir.
Hearing this, the officer immediately called his captain. The car was quickly surrounded by police, and the captain approached the driver to handle the tense situation:
Captain: Sir, can I see your license? Driver: Sure. Here it is. It was valid.
Captain: Who’s car is this? Driver: It’s mine, officer. Here’s the registration.
Captain: Could you slowly open your glove box so I can see if there’s a gun in it? Driver: Yes, sir, but there’s no gun in it. Sure enough, there was nothing in the glove box.
Captain: Would you mind opening your trunk? I was told you said there’s a body in it. Driver: No problem. The trunk was opened; no body.
Captain: I don’t understand it. The officer who stopped you said you told him you didn’t have a license, stole the car, had a gun in the glovebox, and that there was a dead body in the trunk.
Driver: Yeah, I’ll bet he told you I was speeding, too.
What’d u do if u were that officer? Go nuts? Tear your hair out? Scream? Mary must have felt that way too, in our Bible text this morning. It’s like a “get me to the nearest psychiatrist” reaction. Here’s Mary, perhaps thinking of marriage, preparing for the big day, already pledged to be married to a man named Joe, dreaming of driving the family SUV, with kids arguing about who gets to sit in front of the camel, and u being the perfect patient mom. Then an angel appeared.
What’d u do if I came and told u “I just saw an angel and he told me I am the new Messiah”? Most ordinary people would kindly suggest or say “I think u better have a talk with Rev. Wally Weiser, your area minister.” “Ministry at GIBC must be really stressful.” If things like these happen, we’d tend to say, is this a dream, is this real, too much turkey and egg-nog, or too little coffee in the morning, too little sleep because I watched on DVD “How the Grinch stole Christmas” and “It’s a Wonderful Life” , and “A Christmas Carol” back to back to back, all in one night and all the behind the scenes featurettes As well? This angel’s entrance was not welcomed at all. Ever wonder how Mary felt? Look at v.29 “Mary was greatly TROUBLED at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.” She was immediately reminded of a 3 D world.