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Summary: The lessons we can learn from the three main characters of the Christmas story.

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The Christmas Cast

Luke 1:26-27

When you watch your favorite movie or see a Broadway play you will also see a list of characters, whether scrolling on the screen during the credits or printed on a playbill.

If you were to go and visit any nativity scene, you would see the important characters of the story. Some scenes would display shepherds coming to see the baby with their sheep. Others would display the three wise men bringing their gifts. Even still, other nativity scenes would feature the many types of animals that you would possibly find in a barn on any given night.

But one thing all of these nativity scenes would have in common: the three main characters of this story.

Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus

Luke gives us several characters in this story of the birth. He gives us the perfect setup to the dialogue and he also paints the picture in such a way that you know what each character is feeling and thinking.

Each person gives us a life lesson with his or her actions and way of thinking.

Lessons that will:

· Help us become more aware of how we live our lives for God.

· Show us ways to improve our relationship with our Heavenly Father

· Guide us into the process of receiving a greater blessing through our work for Jesus Christ.

o Have you ever heard the Christmas story?

o Has it just been another dialogue that you can quote from memory?

o Have you ever stop to think what lessons could be learned from each character that Luke describes so well?

1. The Lesson learned from Mary

Background:

o She was a resident of Nazareth

No doubt she grew up hearing the prophecy of the coming Messiah that was told in Isaiah 7:14.

o She was a young woman who was engaged to Joseph

Imagine Mary planning for her wedding day.

o She was “high favored with God” (verse 30)

Mary knew what it was like to live a life pleasing to God. To have favor with Him she had to recognize that He was God and was in control of all things

So we have a young virgin, engaged and planning for her special wedding day until she gets a visit from an angel in a dream. *(Tell about the dream)

We could learn a lesson from the young girl who was faithful enough to still be a virgin…

We could learn a lesson of a young girl who had a strong belief in God to accept what the angel Gabriel told her

We could learn a lesson of Mary as a mother of our Savior

But I feel that the lesson to learn from Mary is right there in front of us but we fail to stop and realize what she actually had to do to have this baby.

We must be careful not to make too lightly of the character of Mary but at the same time we need not exalt her too highly.

So what was so special about this girl that she could teach us a lesson here in 2005?

The lesson is simple to see but harder to put into action.

Mary’s lesson is: To live outside of your comfort zone

Comfort Zone – our place of safety and security.

It’s predictable

No “what ifs” or “the unknowns”

You are familiar with what is going on around you and you know what to expect at any given time.

You know:

o Where your next meal is coming from

o When you will be getting your next paycheck

o What time you go into work and what time you get off of work

o You have a warm coat in the closet for when you go outside

And anytime that something happens that get us out of our comfort zone = we start to panic!

Living outside of your comfort zone is nothing more than living on faith.

Hebrews 11:1 – “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Mary was a young virgin who is not pregnant.

a. She has to tell her parents

b. She has to tell Joseph

o Imagine the stares from other people

o Imagine what was being said behind her back

o Imagine her thoughts when Joseph wanted to leave

Living outside your comfort zone will have you:

o Feeding 5000 with two fish and five loaves of bread

o Stepping out of the boat as Peter did to walk on top of the water toward Jesus

o Leaving your tax business as Matthew did to follow Jesus

o Having your head chopped off as Stephen did, standing up for the gospel of Christ

o Building a boat when there hasn’t been rain

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