Summary: Christmas teaches us that ordinary people can attain extraordinary blessing in their lives!
CHRISTMAS STORIES OF HOPE
1: “Ordinary People, Extraordinary Blessing” Luke 1:26-38
Welcome: Read excerpt by Jackie McCullough as excerpted in The Incarnation: An Anthology, pp. 47-48.
Are you looking for glad tidings this Christmas season? Do you come to God in search of your own Christmas miracle? Are you fed up with the mundaneness of your life? Examining the skies for a star of hope?
For the next four Sundays we will be exploring Christmas Stories of Hope from God’s Word. Today, we will consider how Christmas teaches us that ordinary people can attain extraordinary blessing in their lives!
I.)The Ordinary Is Invaded (1:26-28) God Invades The Ordinary
A.A very ordinary city.
+ Nazareth was a small and insignificant village in Galilee.
+ It is never even mentioned in the OT.
+ John 1:46 (Nathanael) “Can anything good come from [Nazareth]?”
+ Some would say the same of Bloomfield, or even of BBC.
B.An ordinary young woman.
+ A young Jewish girl would normally be engaged btw. 12 & 14 yrs. old.
+ Typically, at this time a legal marriage contract would be signed, it could not be broken except by divorce, the girl would be called her fiancé’s wife, and any infidelity by either party would be considered adultery. Nevertheless, the young girl would continue to live with her parents and remain abstinent until the marriage ceremony a year or so later.
+ While Scripture praises Mary’s spirit, nothing is ever mentioned to imply that she is remarkable in any other way: physical appearance, intellect, popularity, or wealth. She likely didn’t have any education, was poor and by most accounts a typical, acne-plagued teenage girl.
C.An ordinary man.
+ Even Joseph, though a grown adult man, was simply a run-of-the-mill common laborer. “Mr. Blue Collar from Hobokon.”
+ Likely, he was a carpenter not so much by choice, but because that is what was decided for him since birth because that is what his father was.
+ A man going through the motions of life, doing and being what everyone expected of him.
+ Yet, there was one regal thing about him that went widely unnoticed and unappreciated, perhaps even by himself. Nine hundred years of heredity made him an heir of David. Being a common man, this probably meant little to Joseph. It certainly hadn’t helped him have a better life, gain any fame, riches or privilege.
+ Believers, you too are heirs of the King. Have you forgotton?
God absolutely loves to use the ordinary for His extraordinary purposes!
II.)An Ordinary Reaction to the Unexpected (v. 29)
+ Mary first responded as any teenager, nay, any of us period would. She was troubled,
worried, scared, and confused. She had ADHD butterflies in her stomach, air in her head,
and fear coursing through her veins.
+ Too often, we let our troubles, our worries, our fear and confusion block God and His
miracles from our lives! Too many times, we allow them to keep our lives mundane and
insignificant. But not Mary! She is human and she clearly experiences all of those
emotions. The difference is that she does not surrender to them. Instead, she boldly
inquires, seeks to sort them all out, waits and listens to one obviously more knowledgeable
than herself. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why God chose to use a teenager. Perhaps
we adults could learn a lot from them, after all!
III.)An Extraordinary Blessing (vv. 30-33)
A.Favor Trumps Fear (v. 30)
+ “Do not fear!” Isn’t it interesting how God always seems to say this just before
announcing something that will terrify us?! “Do not fear, BUT . . . “
+ Calvin Miller writes, “God’s visitations unnerve us. Why? Because He never comes to
us without asking us to do something. We never know what He will ask of us, but we
know that we will be overwhelmed by our feelings of inadequacy ” (The Christ of
Christmas). What has God been asking of you?
+ Mary is told not to fear, because God “favors” her. Why? How? Because God desires
to judge us not by the criteria of the world, but by our hearts, our character. God favors
those who honor Him, especially those who are ordinary in every other way!
+ 2 Timothy 2:21 “. . . if anyone cleanses himself . . . he will be a vessel for honor,
sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.”
+ God chose Mary because of her character and wonderful spirit, her age was
B.The Blessing Revealed (v. 31)
+ The Lord has determined that now is the time for the Messiah, the Anointed One, the
Deliverer to come.
+ Only, He will come as an embryo in your womb! (Come on, imagine this now!) You