Summary: What’s so special about Mary that she got picked to give birth to the Messiah?
There’s Something About Mary
December 24, 2006
The Cost of Christmas
I heard that Jesus went to the mall and watched a movie Saturday. It wasn’t exactly the real Jesus, but it was a life-size cutout of Jesus. The youth group from “Lamoni United Methodist Church” in W. Des Moines, IA., went to see the movie "The Nativity Story", and took turns pushing a ‘cardboard Jesus’ on a two-wheeled handcart through the mall’s halls. The faces of shoppers all around them registered surprise and curiosity. Chatter at the food court quieted when the kids pushed Jesus by. Kiosk shopkeepers asked what was going on. One older man burdened with shopping bags was so fascinated, he nearly stumbled into a glittering Christmas tree.
The youth pastor, Steve McElroy, explained that the cardboard Jesus was an exercise in living their faith and "taking Jesus Christ with them everywhere," Earlier, McElroy had talked to the 20 youth in his church about the challenge of living as a Christian. The discussion became more real, when he showed up with the cardboard cutout and asked the youth group if they would take Jesus with them any time they were together. "It’s one thing taking Jesus around the church. But it’s more difficult to be a public Christian when you’re hauling him through the mall crowded with shoppers," McElroy said. "It’s a good test."
The teens learned some important lessons too! “Except for one woman who "wrinkled her nose up, people stared at us, but mostly they smiled.", a couple of the teens noticed. Another teen (Agnes Ansong) said, "It was a chance to show people we’re Christians, and we’re not embarrassed about it. We want people to know what we believe in, and that we take the Christmas season seriously."
Over 2000 years ago there was another teen who carried Jesus around. Not as a card-board cut-out…but as a baby! Her name was Mary! And even though she carried Him around in her stomach…believe me… it was just as obvious!
As you may already know, Mary was young… at most 16, when she had Jesus. Her’s was a ‘teen-pregnancy’. That was 1 strike against her! Besides being young… she was poor…. That’s 2. And then 3rdly, she was a female… and in the society of her day… that was a 3rd strike against her. Everything was going wrong in her young life. Unmarried, pregnant, she has to travel a long distance… (not in an ambulance, to a well equipped hospital… but on a donkey to a barn!) She was no doubt scarred… but she didn’t panic.
It got me thinking… what was it about Mary and her young husband Joseph that prompted God to choose them as the earthly parents of the Christ child? There’s “Something About Mary… and there’s something about Joseph” that intrigues me!
• There’s something about this couple that God saw and decided to entrust them as adoptive parents to the most important child ever born.
• There’s something about Mary and Joseph that I want to model my life after.
As we’re going to see this morning and this evening, they were an extraordinary young couple. (This morning: Mary. Tonight: Joseph) Today, we’re going to see that they exhibited some qualities that everyone of us should want to have in our own lives. Qualities that encouraged God to trust them with His treasure! Do you want God to trust you with His treasures? I do! I want God to entrust me with His plans and purposes. I want Him to feel like He can entrust me with His promises. But mostly, I want Him to know that He can entrust me with another precious gift… His people. I want to be God’s trusted servant (like Mary and Joseph were)… so that He can use me in the coming year!
Let’s talk about Mary 1st, because in spite of all her problems… In spite of the instability and questions surrounding her… she exhibited the characteristic of…
1. Unswerving COMMITMENT
Mary would have been perfectly happy I’m sure to be a normal Jewish girl…in a normal Jewish town…
Even her name was ordinary! Every family seemed to have at least one girl in the family named ‘Merium’, (after Moses’ sister). A few weeks earlier a betrothal contract had been signed, and she was engaged to be married to a ordinary guy named Joseph. He wasn’t a ‘scholar’ by any means… he was more the ’Industrial Arts’ type… he was a carpenter, a blue-collar worker. Mary would have been perfectly happy to be an ordinary Jewish wife and mother…BUT God… interrupted in a BIG way! (Has God ever interrupted your life? You’re going along… hum, de, dum…happy and stupid in your sin… when God gets a hold of your life! I’m soooo glad for God’s interruptions!)