What did it mean for Joseph to find out his bride to be, Mary, was pregnant with the Son of God?
Alex thoughtfully draws us to the circumstances for both Joseph and Mary, and how Joseph embodied love and care in his actions. Below are some of Alex's notes for this sermon.
1. What has my responses to unwelcomed surprises revealed about my character in 2016?
Again, I want to encourage you to ask this question gently to yourself, but honestly. And I want to invite you to consider that the honest self-assessment of our hearts is a gift because of what Jesus has done for us on the cross Hear the good news this morning: the angel was right! Jesus was sent to earth to forgive whatever it is that got exposed in your character and my character in those unwelcomed surprises It is the cross of Christ, who has forgiven all of our sins, just like the angel said he would, And that frees us to be brutally honest about our selfishness, our dishonesty, our selfrighteousness, whatever it was that was exposed To know that we are forgiven of our sins, to receive Christ’s forgiveness and to move forward into our lives as forgiven and reconciled men and women, filled with God’s Spirit this is the great comfort and the great power of the Christian faith But there is a bit of work required on our part, which is that we are honest about where those gaps are in our character, confessing those before the Lord, and asking for his forgiveness and grace to be applied in those areas and to bring transformation and new life into us
2. Is there an unwelcome surprise that you need help to understand from this past year? Maybe for these next few weeks, you’re going to put this on the top of your Christmas list to submit to God. “God, what I want for Christmas is some sense of how you’re working in the midst of this thing that happened that I don’t understand.” If you don’t get any more clarity, then you leave it at Jesus’s feet, entrusting yourself and your unwelcomed surprise all over to him, and move on—perhaps he’ll reveal it to you in due time But just maybe through Joseph he’s inviting you into one more season of asking, seeking and knocking.
3. What do you do with the news of Jesus, conceived by God’s Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of our sins? We’ve got a good number of people here who aren’t sure what they think of all of this. Thank you for being here, you honor us with your presence, we’re grateful for you. All of the Christian faith turns on this claim. And this morning, as we look ahead to Christmas, I want to invite you to consider the central tenant of the Christian faith. And to wrestle with and maybe even pray about whether or not this news could possibly be true. And if it is true, what it could mean for you and for our weary and divided world Nobody was ready for that first Christmas—came as a surprise to everyone. This Christmas, I want to invite all of us into the wonder of the surprising grace of God, who has sent his Son to rescue us from our sin.