Summary: There is joy to be had!
THIS IS GREAT!
Th: Courage at Christmas
Pr: THERE IS JOY TO BE HAD!
?: How? How does it come to Mary?
TS: We will find in our study of Luke 1:26-38 how Mary discovers the joy that is available to those that accept God’s will.
The _____ aspect of Mary’s story we are considering is the…
RMBC 07 December 03 AM
Ill Notebook: Optimism (Hidden Blessings)
There was a king in Africa who had a close friend that he grew up with. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life (positive or negative) and remarking, "This is good!"
One day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king. The friend had apparently done something wrong in preparing one of the guns, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off.
Examining the situation the friend remarked as usual, "This is good!"
To which the king replied, "No this is NOT good!" and proceeded to send his friend to jail.
About a year later, the king was hunting in an area that he should have known to stay clear of. Cannibals captured him and took him to their village. They tied him to a stake surrounded by wood.
As they came near to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king had but one thumb. Being superstitious, they never ate anyone that was less than whole. They untied the king and sent him away.
As he returned home, he was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb and felt so very badly about his treatment of his friend. He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend. "You were right" he said, "it was good that my thumb was blown off." And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just happened. "And so I am very sorry for sending you to jail for so long. It was bad for me to do this."
"No," his friend replied, "this is good!"
"What do you mean, ’this is good’! How could it be good that I sent you, my good friend, to jail for all this time?"
"If I had not been in jail, I would have been with you - and eaten!”
So, let me ask…
What are you?
1. Are you an optimist?
Or are you a pessimist?
Do you see the positive side of things?
Or do you see the negative side of it?
Do you say “this is good” or do you say “this is bad”?
There is one event that happens in a family that almost always elicits a positive response.
It comes from the statement, “We’re going to have a baby!”
2. One of the most exciting times for a couple is the anticipation of a baby.
After the initial shock wears off, and they figure out how it happened, most couples get excited.
Their lives are full of expectation.
They prepare to welcome the new addition into their lives.
For Mary and Joseph, the news of the pregnancy was not what they were looking for, or wanted.
They weren’t ready for a baby yet.
In fact, they were unprepared for it, since they had yet to have union as a couple.
This means that…
3. The circumstances of the birth of Jesus are far from ordinary.
In fact, in a moment, we are going to see that the facts surrounding the birth of Jesus are not believable.
Yes, I said that.
The birth of Jesus is unbelievable, and yet, I believe it.
Let me share with you three aspects of why I do…
I. The first aspect of Mary’s story to consider is the MESSAGE (26-30).
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.”
1. How would you like to be visited by an extraterrestrial?
I don’t know about you, but when someone talks to me about UFOs or aliens, I tend to get a bit cynical.