Summary: We rejoice in a God who blesses us.
STOP, AND TAKE IT ALL IN
Luke 2:19 (15-20)
Th: We have reason to rejoice!
Pr: WE REJOICE IN A GOD WHO BLESSES US.
?: What? What did Mary think about?
TS: We will find in our study four incidents that would cause Mary to mull over her blessings.
The _____ incident was the…
RMBC 22 Dec 02 AM
ILL Notebook: Christmas (sure beats shopping)
It was a few days before Christmas on the Oregon coast. Two men whose families lived next door opted to go sailing while their wives went Christmas shopping. An unexpected storm surprised the weekend sailors. Before long, the sea became angry, and the two had a difficult time keeping the sailboat under control. While heading toward the harbor, the craft hit a sandbar and grounded. Both men jumped overboard into the icy water and began to push and shove in an attempt to get the sailboat into deeper water. Knee-deep in mud and repeatedly bounced against the hull by the unfriendly waves, the one said enthusiastically to the other, “Sure beats Christmas shopping, doesn’t it?”
Well, I’m not a big fan of shopping, but…
Do you like to shop?
And most of you are done, right?
Because, knowing how this church has a reputation of being an on-time church, and that we always get things done ahead of time, I am sure that, as individuals, you already have all your gift shopping done.
Well, hopefully you have it done…
For now is the time to concentrate on the reason we gather this time of the year.
I think we all recognize that…
It is easy to lose perspective during Christmas.
In fact, it is a frustration to keep ourselves pointed in the right direction.
But this has been our goal this month…
During this advent season, our theme has been…
1. We have reason to rejoice.
We do have reason.
We have good news to celebrate.
1.1 We rejoice in a God who answers.
A few weeks ago, we considered the story of Zechariah.
God answered his old prayers of having a son.
And God answered the prayers he offered in the temple, asking for God’s intervention with the Messiah.
Zechariah discovered that God does hear and does answer, for He is the on-time, in-time and right-time God.
1.2 We rejoice in a God who surprises.
Two weeks ago, we studied Mary’s response to the angel’s announcement.
The angel told her that she was going to become pregnant without the aid of a man.
To say the least, this was surprising news.
But though this news was unexpected, Mary discovered that God’s surprises are worth having and living.
Last week, we examined the proposition…
1.3 We rejoice in a God who brings peace.
We examined the angels’ announcement to the shepherds.
The shepherds were privileged to be the first to hear the news that the Messiah had come.
And they learned that it was the Messiah’s purpose to establish peace between God and mankind.
This includes us.
So it is something we are to rejoice in.
Today, we give consideration to Mary’s response to all that has happened to her in a nine month span.
And we learn this…
2. WE REJOICE IN A GOD WHO BLESSES US.
The blessings of God surround us.
And if there is any time of the year that we should understand this, this is the time.
God is involved in our lives.
God intervenes in our lives.
God favors us.
Christmas is the time to stop, and take it all in.
If we don’t, we are doing Christmas wrong.
No doubt, there is a lot of things to think about this time of year.
We think about decorations and the gifts we have to buy.
We think about travels and arrangements.
We think about food, dinners and parties.
We think about programs and cantatas.
But, do we give any thought to Christmas like Mary did?
3. Mary had a lot to think about (Luke 2:19).
After the visit from the shepherds had ended, the biblical text tells us:
But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.
The idea that we find in the text is that she was carefully storing away all these events.
She was putting them all together in her heart, mulling them over, figuring our their meaning.
So I wonder, what did Mary think about?
4. We will find in our study four incidents that would cause Mary to mull over her blessings.
I. The first incident was the ANNOUNCEMENT.
1. Did you ever think about what it would be like to be visited by God’s messenger?
We know that being confronted by an angel is a terrifying experience.