TEACHER: Ken Hicks
SCRIPTURES: Matthew 1:18-13; Luke 2:4-20; Isaiah 7:14;
BOTTOM LINE: Jesus healed the sick … fed the hungry … even raised the dead … and HE IS WITH US! He is our Immanuel … even if we’re in the midst of the most painful season of our lives … He so cares for us that He chose to become ONE of US!
QUESTION: Have you ever wondered if God really understands all you’re going thru? Does He really get it? I mean, He was God! How can He understand?
CHRISTmas brings all kinds of things to mind doesn’t it? Sleigh Bells Ringing … carolers singing … Santa stations all over the place … putting up the CHRISTmas tree … Mistletoe … parties … great food and CHRISTmas snacks and traditions.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, faced some of the craziest of circumstances and challenges. She also got to experience some of the most incredible of blessings in giving birth to her firstborn son … the Son of God.
- Mary’s Trip to Bethlehem teaches us that God is Lord over CHRISTmas Chaos.
And one of the things we can learn from the CHRISTmas story is how Mary’s trip to Bethlehem teaches us that God is Lord over CHRISTmas chaos!
UN-WED PREGNANCY … How many of us know someone that has had to face the social stigma of an un-wed and un-planned pregnancy?
TRAVEL TO BETHLEHEM … How about making the trip to Bethlehem at 9 months pregnant?
GIVING BIRTH TO JESUS … w/ no family, friends, Pitocin … Then there was the actual BIRTH of Jesus … in the area down below the Hotel where the animals were kept.
No family or friends there with her … giving birth to the Son of God and placing him in the trough. Not a warm bed or warm meal in sight … Under normal circumstances … shoe would have been thrilled to learn of her pregnancy … but pregnant before the wedding? How would she explain it? To her conservative family? To her husband to be? It’s a miracle that Joseph still married her isn’t it?
- Mary’s Trip to Bethlehem teaches us that God is Personal … He has a Face & He is WITH US.
At the very 1st CHRISTmas … Mary gazed into the face of God!
My guess is that Mary was trying to keep a good attitude, but it couldn’t have been easy! She was far from home … miles from family and her own bed … She spent the last few days on crowded roads and battling the winter elements … Money was scarce.
Imagine there that night: sheep, and cattle all around; Joseph still completely in amazement of this entire journey; and Mary looking deeply into the eyes of Jesus thinking, So this is what God looks like huh?
Jesus entered our world … not LIKE a Human … but AS a Human … People had been trying to describe God for years as:
- a golden Calf
- A violent Wind
- A God to be avoided … or appeased … or this cruel dictator sitting on the throne to pass down judgment …
… but never in 1,000,000 years did they think God would enter the world as an infant.
God has a Face, and when we look into His eyes, and realize that God understands. He gets us … He became 1 of Us … it changes everything for me!
John 1:14 … “14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
We see the GLORY of God in the FACE of Jesus!
We cannot face Crisis … and Struggle … and Chaos … from our BEST … until we see the Face of God FIRST!
Chaos can’t keep Christ out of His World! The Family Tree of Jesus was MESSY!
- Tamar was abandoned
- Ruth was an immigrant
- Rahab was a harlot
- David was an adulterer
- Solomon was a philanderer
… the Messiah was born not because of His ancestors, but in spite of them.
The 1st CHRISTmas was so different than Mary had planned … but it also turned out greater than she ever could have imagined!
Maybe some of us need that reminder this year … amongst the sleepless nights … high stress … long work hours … we need to be reminded that it’s JESUS that holds it all together.