Christmas 2015 looks very different then it did a year ago.
Circumstances outside our control have changed life as we know it.
Just yesterday we woke up to a terrorist threat that closed the entire Los Angeles school system . Leaving 650,000 students stranded caused chaos for the city.
I live in Calgary, a city dependent on the oil industry. The collapse of oil prices has devastated our economy. Thousands have lost their jobs. The ripple effect has decimated most other sectors of our society.
I know of two young couples that have divorced in the past year. Being alone & hurting this Christmas is their new normal.
There are days when belief in God’s provision or even guidance seems a bit remote.
Living with fear & uncertainty has become our new normal.
What was not even on the radar in January 2015 has required adjusting to a new normal.
Mary’s New Normal
Mary & Joseph were living with a new normal.
- They had left Nazareth & traveled to Bethlehem to comply with a census.
- They had a new born baby shortly after they arrived.
- They couldn’t return to Nazareth.
- They had no house, no job & few if any supportive relationships.
- They re-established their lives & probably lived in Bethlehem for about 2 years.
- They then were exiled to Egypt.
- Then it was back to Nazareth
How did they do it?
How did they survive all those changes?
Beyond the Christmas Story
If we read Christmas story & stop with the Shepherds we are going to feel let down.
There must be more to sustain us as we face our new normal.
We Need To Know
That Immanuel Is
And Is Also
The Mighty God
Who Has Acted
On Our Behalf
The clue to how Mary
- stayed strong in faith
- walked in her destiny
- parented Jesus
- is found in Luke 2:19
Mary Treasured Up
All these Things
In Her Heart
Mary replaced worry with worship.
Mary remembered what God had done for her & her family.
Mary reflected on the character & faithfulness of God.
Mary could then surrender to God’s day by day plan for her as she faced the new normal.
The Story Continues
The story of Christmas doesn’t end in a manger.
The story doesn’t end on a Cross.
The story didn’t end in ancient Israel.
The story of Christmas continues today.
The story rushes forth with passion when we sing songs of praise.
The story covers our fears, our failings, our inadequacies.
The story gives us the power to speak truth & act with kindness and love.
If You Stop At The Manger
The Story Ends & You Are Left
Beyond Christmas Eve
We can read the Christmas story.
We can stop after the part where the Shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God.
We can leave the Christmas story at church on Christmas Eve.
If we stop at the manger we are going to feel let down.
We want more. We need more.
What will sustain us as we face our new normal in 2016 ?
How do we live beyond Christmas Eve ?
We take our cues from Mary & Joseph.
All These Things
In Her Heart
Who are the Everyday Heroes in your life?
Where have you seen that He’s With You ?
Engage with The Listener who spokes to you & listens to you.
Get to know Him as the Mighty God who is with you & acts for you.
Mary knew that Worship Defeats Worry
- She remembered what God had done
- She thanked Him for what He had done
- She praised Him for who He is & who He would be.
- She surrendered to his design for her day by day in the new normal.
Christmas Doesn’t End At A Manger
Christmas Continues Today
It Rushes Forth Passionately
When We Sing Songs Of Praise
Join Your Story With His Story
Today’s music video is Mary, Did You Know?