God Became One Of Us
God came into the world to change the lives of real people with very messy lives.
We need to hear afresh the news that God is still among us.
We need to hear is still with us changing people & cleaning up messes.
He ’s still here to change you – to change me. He’s still here to clean up the messes of our lives.
Immanuel Is Still With Us
Immanuel Wants To Lead Us
Through The Details Of
Today we look at the story of the central character of Christmas . We look closely at the story of an unwed, pregnant teenager .
We look at Mary’s Story.
Her story gives us tools for dealing with the worry, anxiety & terrifying fears that threaten to rob us of Christmas 2015.
Why did God choose Mary to bear Jesus?
What was there about her faith that enabled her?
What strengthened her to deal with shame & rejection?
Where did she find courage to face the potential death of herself & her baby?
Mary’s story is found in Luke 1: 26-56.
We know nothing about her parents or her upbringing.
We do know that she had the confidence to question the angel when he told her about the pregnancy.
We do know that her faith was so strong that she was able to respond saying “May it be to me as you have said”.
We do know :
- Mary was engaged & pregnant but not by her fiancée, Joseph.
- That the possibility of being stoned for adultery was very real
She was telling a wild story about an angel & a baby who was conceived by the Holy Spirit .
Even more outrageous was her belief that her baby would be the Messiah & would be the Savior of the World.
If your thirteen year old came home with such a story what would you say or do?
Many questions & worries must have filled her mind & heart.
- Where would she live?
- How would she provide for the baby?
- Would Joseph leave her?
Mary’s Rash Decision
Mary traveled alone & on foot through the dangerous hills of Judea to visit Elizabeth.
Elizabeth was the one person who would really believe her & offer protection for the baby.
Elizabeth was also having a miracle baby.
Three months later Mary made the return journey home. Now visibly pregnant, she faced an uncertain future.
How did she find the inner strength & peace to face:
- the potential rejection by Joseph ,
- the lonely painful birth of this child
- the exile to Egypt
- the escape from the murdering armies of King Herod?
We find the answer in a song that Mary wrote & sang while still staying with Elizabeth.
My Soul Magnifies The Lord
My Spirit Rejoices in God my Savior
I Am the Lord’s Servant
Let It Be To Me As You Have Said
Mary made an active choice to reflect on (think about) and express out loud:
- who God is
- what He had done for her people (Israel) .
- what He had done for her personally.
- that God is a god who speaks.
- that God is a god who acts
- That God can be trusted
Mary praised & gave thanks .
Mary experienced peace & joy that overcame:
Peace & Joy Enables
Faith Filled Choices
In Messy Situations
How will you find peace & joy this Christmas?
How will you confront your fears & the anxious choices that result?
Tell Your Own Story
- Be real
- Talk to the One who hears
- Pour out your heart to Him
- Tell Him how it is for you on the inside
Write Your Own Magnificat
- Where have you heard Him speak to you?
- Where have you seem Him act for you?
My Soul Will Magnify My Lord
My Spirit Will Rejoice In God My Savior
Faith Filled Choices Free me From Fear
There Is Joy In the Midst Of Sorrow
Today’s treat is Avalon’s rendition of Where Joy & Sorrow Meet.
Past posts in the Pray the Write Way Series can be found here.