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Summary: What it must have been like for that very young couple as they are given the enormous responsibility of giving birth and raising the Son of God?

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THE PIGTRAIL TO OBSCURITY

Introduction: Thanks for having my wife and I. I have never preached anywhere in Kentucky before. I sense each time I cross the Ohio River that I am back in the south. My wife and I were raised in the south, but moved to the Midwest more than 20 years ago.

Don’t hold anything against me for being from Illinois. Perhaps some of you have thought the only good thing to ever come out of Illinois is I-24, but I can assure that God is in full control even in Illinois. We’re blessed to be where we are & are thankful of God’s plan for both of us.

We certainly have many things in common with you folks. What is important is that we all love, serve and honor Jesus Christ the King of Kings,…this is all we need to know. Anything else I have to say tonight (to a room full of preachers) may seem trivial/insignificant.

It never is easy to preach to preachers.

Nevertheless, I will try to either intrigue you or (at the very least) entertain you with my foolishness.

Just last week I finished teaching our first Berean Course (from Global University) to several of our people. It was a tough course on Sermon Preparation. When I agreed to teach this class on homiletics, I was surprised to learn how much I had forgotten about writing sermons.

But now I have a new problem.

Now I have 7 students that have passed the course who can begin picking my sermons apart like vulchers.

Well let’s talk about Christmas.

The Christmas story should be enjoyable for any preacher. Have you noticed that Christmas seems to help us put things back into perspective with our people?

Personally I have been mesmerized by the story of Joseph and Mary ever since my first Christmas as a Christian.

I often wondered –

What it must have been like for that very young couple as they are given the enormous responsibility of giving birth and raising the Son of God?

The Angel, Gabriel, told Mary that the Lord had “found favor” in her. We all know that Mary and Joseph didn’t do anything to earn this privilege. Both Joseph and Mary were suddenly and dramatically summoned by God.

Questions:

1. Can we all think back in our individual lives to a time when we too were suddenly and dramatically summoned by the Lord?

2. Why would the Lord (for no apparent reason) call you and I to carry the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost and dieing world?

3. What was it like for you when the Holy Spirit (or an angel) came to you and called you out of your own personal comfort with this enormous responsibility?

Consider Joseph and Mary when you think of the journey you and your spouse have been called to. When we were called out, many of us had time to prepare. We went to Seminary, or we studied the Berean Courses sitting at our kitchen tables.

We did whatever it took. We were so willing & obedient to what God wanted.

On the other hand, Joseph and Mary did not have time to prepare for this enormous task. Nevertheless, they did such a great job. Can you see them making their way across the hill country from Galilee, across Samaria, and on into Judea? They left the comfort of their friends, and their family, and their homes to go to Bethlehem.

You and I have a lot in common with the story of Joseph and Mary…amen?

I. Everyday is an adventure.

A. Joseph and Mary had never done this before

1. What am I going to tell my parents? What will they think of me?

2. How am I going to provide for my family?

B. The Lord will make a way when there is no other way for us…He always does.

II. There is seldom any pomp or fanfare.

A. Joseph and Mary may have (at first) struggled with selfish ambitions.

1. I want what all my other friends have…the recognition & rewards.

2. I need only trust the voice of the Lord.

III. The Lord tells us to take Jesus to obscure small towns. (Title: The Pigtrail to Obscurity)

A. We are carrying the most important message of hope the world will ever know.

1. Why shouldn’t I take the message of the Savior of the world to the big city?

B. Joseph and Mary were sent away to hide from the threats of Herod.

1. It was in the uncivilized heathen nation of Egypt where they were told to take King of Kings.

2. They were told to leave at night with the most powerful/supernatural being of the universe.

C. God’s ways are often not our ways.

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