Summary: Life’s unexpected curves don’t have to be catostrophic for a Christian.
You’re What?!?: Mary’s Unexpected Pregnancy
Luke 1:26-38 (Key verses 28, 34, 38)
December 7, 2003 FBC, Chester, Illinois Mike Fogerson, Speaker
According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year, male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid-December. Female reindeer retain their antlers till after they give birth in the spring.
Therefore, according to every historical rendition depicting Santa’s reindeer, every single one
of them, from Rudolph to Blitzen- had to be a girl. We should’ve known. Only women, while pregnant, would be able to drag a fat man in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night and not get lost.
(26) In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee,  to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.  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.  But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.  You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.  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,  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.  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.  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.
ETS: Mary showed how a good believer reacts to the unexpected.
ESS: Life’s unexpected curves do not have to be catastrophic to the Christian.
OBJ: I hope you will use Mary’s approach to coping when life takes an unexpected turn.
P.Q.: How do you approach life when it turns out different than what you expected?
Let’s look at three approaches that Mary used when her life took an unexpected turn:
1. Mary approached her unexpected turn with.....favor. (v. 28)
 The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.
A. Mary was given favor (grace) by God-highly favored.
a. By no work, merit, act, on Mary’s part.
b. God gave Mary grace as a gift (Jesus, the whole treasure of God’s grace, was being bore in Mary’s womb.
B. Before we can approach life’s unexpected turns, we must be highly favored! God’s grace
Highly favored (Kecharitomene is mentioned only 2 x’s in the whole N.T.) Luke 1:28,
Eph. 1:6  to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
b. The same favor, grace that God showed Mary is the same favor, grace He has freely given us.
* You’ve got to be saved by grace to approach life’s unexpected turns. (Mary found her grace in God....that’s where you’ve going to find your grace, too!).
C Phillip Yancey: "Grace: A gift that cost everything for the giver, and nothing to the recipient."
You work 8 hours, wage. Train & win a race: Awared & Recognized! Fair: Deserved: Earned.
Grace: You didn’t work 8 hours, paid anyway! You didn’t win the race, got first place! Grace! You are getting what you didn’t deserve/earn!
Does God grace pour on everyone like the sunshine? NO!
2. Mary approached her unexpected turn with....faith (v.34).
(34) "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"
A. Mary knew what would happen, but she did not know how it would happen (the question was actually an expression of faith).
a. The promise she faithfully understood, the performance she did not understand.
b. Mary’s cousin, Zechariah, had unbelief
* v. 18 (18) Zechariah asked the angel, "How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years."
* Mary never doubted that God could do what God said He would do-FAITHFUL!!
B. "My God shall supply all my needs, according to His riches in glory" Shelter, Fortress, Rock, Shield,