Sometimes a relationship with Jesus can cause a lot of problems for you.
Just think about what happened with Mary.
Obviously, having an angel like Gabriel show up and announce she was going to give birth to the Messiah must have been pretty pretty amazing. But at the same time, it created some very real issues in her life.
Like the fact, hardly anyone would believe it. I mean, she was a virgin. And she was going to have a baby. You can imagine what something like that would have done to her reputation. After all, that just didn’t happen, normally. Virgins having children. In fact, it has happened only once in the history of the universe. She’s the first, and the last, which meant, there was going to be a big old question mark above her head her entire life.
And it wasn’t just her reputation either.
This baby was going to put her in a very precarious and vulnerable position. The man she was supposed to marry would have had the right to divorce her. This would have brought shame to Mary and to her whole family as well. It might even have put them in a financially difficult spot as well, because they would have had to return the price Joseph had paid for her. And technically, Joseph not only had the right to divorce her, he may even have had the right to put her to death.
So this is serious.
And while we know that didn’t happen, what did actually happen to Mary once she had this baby, made her life more difficult just the same. You can think about where she had to have the baby, for starters. Mary ended up having to ride a donkey all the way from Nazareth to Bethlehem which couldn’t have been very comfortable as a pregnant woman. When they got there, she had to give birth to Jesus right next to where they kept the sheep and the cows.
After Jesus was born, things didn’t get much easier, either. She had to flee with her husband to Egypt because of Jesus and live there as refugees. And while we don’t know much about Jesus’ childhood, the one time we do know about, she had to go all the way back to the temple in Jerusalem to find him after they had already been there and left. Read the story. Mary certainly seemed worried about Jesus then. And she would be worried about Jesus later. There were times when Jesus was so busy helping others, he didn’t have time to eat and that concerned Mary since she loved him.
And it only got more intense. Because, there’s not just the way Jesus ministered. There’s the way He died in the end. This was her son, you remember! There’s nothing harder than losing someone you love, and Mary had to watch him die in the worst way possible. She had to watch him be crucified. Imagine the pain of that.
In some ways, Mary’s relationship to Jesus made her life more difficult, which can make what the angel says to her in Luke 1, verse 30, sound a little surprising. He is looking at the very event that was going to create all kinds of problems in Mary’s life and saying it was a demonstration of God’s love.
“Do not be afraid, Mary.” That’s what he says. “For you have found favor with God.”
Think about that.
Shameful reputation. Don’t be afraid. Financial difficulties. Living like a refugee in fear for your life. You are favored. Worry, concern, the pain of watching someone you love die, right in front of you. God has poured out His grace on you.
How can He say that?
The answer is Jesus.
This Sunday I want us to look at Luke 1:26-38 and see why Jesus is the single most important and significant person in the history of the universe and why knowing Jesus and having a relationship with Him is such an extraordinary privilege and absolutely one hundred percent worth any cost.
Come ready! Come expectant! Come praying,
This Sunday I am going to look at what the angel says about Jesus and show you three ways he proves Jesus is God’s great rescue plan.
You might prepare your older children by asking them to listen for those three proofs, and then ask them if they got them afterwards. (Hint: His name, His title and His conception) It’s not so important they say it exactly the way I said it, but instead, see if they got the basic idea.
For your younger children, you might have them see if they can write the notes down from the Powerpoint?
Here’s a link you could print out. Also they could listen for how often I say the word Mary.
In the link where I put the sermon brief, etc. I’ve included a "Fill in the Blanks Listening Aid." Now they will have to really listen to be able to fill in the blanks. I think that’s a positive, but if you have a child that wants the answers and is frustrated because they weren't able to get it because I spoke too quickly or whatever, I am sure I can help them later! Hopefully! Also there are some after-sermon listening questions that are intended to help as a check to see if you or your children were able to hear some of the more important parts of the message. Some of the questions will be too difficult for the younger children, and even the older ones might not get them all, but that’s ok, it’s just a sample of the kinds of questions I would hope people would be able to get answers for from the message.]
Sunday Morning Worship Service @ 9:00 a.m.
Welcome, Announcements and Call to Worship
Worship in Song:
Family Moment: Celebrating God’s Faithfulness in Bill and Pam Couch’s lives
Scripture Reading (Luke 1:26-38) and Pastoral Prayer
Preaching of God’s Word: Luke 1:26-38
Response Song: The Lord is My Salvation