Summary: Touch God with your praise.
S: Praise to God
Th: The Christmas Touch
Pr: TOUCH GOD WITH YOUR PRAISE.
TS: We will find in our study of Mary that there are two times when we are to touch God with praise.
The ____ time we should touch God with praise is the…
I. GOOD TIMES
II. BAD TIMES
RMBC 24 December 01 Christmas Eve
ILL Notebook: Good News (broken finger)
A man went to see his doctor in an acute state of anxiety. "Doctor," he said, "you have to help me. I’m dying. Everywhere I touch it hurts. I touch my head and it hurts. I touch my leg and it hurts. I touch my stomach and it hurts. I touch my chest and it hurts. You have to help me, Doc, everything hurts."
The doctor gave him a complete examination. "Mr. Smith," he said, "I have good news and bad news for you. The good news is you are not dying. The bad news is you have a broken finger."
1. It is interesting how the same event can have both good and bad news to it.
ILL Dickens, “A Tale of Two Cities”
We are reminded of that with…
The beginning of Charles Dickens” classic, A Tale of Two Cities. It starts like this:
“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.”
This easily could have been said of the times when Jesus was born.
When Jesus was born, Judea was a vassal state of Rome.
Augustus Caesar was emperor and gave watch over Herod who acted as king.
During this time, people scrambled to make a living.
Poverty was all about and sickness was common.
Justice, however, was not.
To make it worse, the prophets were silent.
And for 400 years, the question had been, “Where is the Messiah?”
For many, it was the worst of times.
Curiously, there were some religious stargazers in Persia who saw it differently.
They had observed an unusual planetary alignment making the brightest star they had ever seen.
For them it was an omen, a good omen, signifying the birth of a world leader.
It was the best of times.
I think Mary would agree with that.
That first Christmas day was the best of times.
2. After Mary went through the events of the first Christmas day, she was filled with wonder (Luke 2:19).
The text in Luke says…
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
It had been an unbelievable nine months.
She had a lot to think about.
A lot had happened.
Perhaps she even reflected to the beginning of the story nine months earlier.
[don’t say this]
3. [We will find in our study of Mary that there are two times we can respond to God’s work in our lives (Luke 1:26-56).]
The text in Luke 1 goes like this:
(26) In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, (27) to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. (28) The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” (29) Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. (30) But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. (31) You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. (32) He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, (33) and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” (34) “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” (35) The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. (36) Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. (37) For nothing is impossible with God.” (38) “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.
(39) At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, (40) where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. (41) When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. (42) In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! (43) But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? (44) As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. (45) Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!”