TEACHER: Ken Hicks
SCRIPTURES: Luke 1:42-48; Matthew 1:20-21; Romans 13:34-35
BOTTOM LINE: The Greatest Gift of LOVE ever given was the Gift of Jesus!
QUESTION: How does LOVE help you navigate the tough seasons of life?
ADVENTis actually a Season of HOPE. ADVENT means Coming or Arrival, and it’s this season marked w/ Expectation.
ADVENT is not just an extension of CHRISTmas, it’s a season that connects together the Past, the Present and the Future.
It seems that throughout all of history, we as humans have been Inspired … and Moved… at times potentially Confused… sometimes Intrigued… and definitely Motivated by LOVE, and yet, all the while trying to somehow understand it at the same time.
Ever thought of Mary & Joseph as a Love Story?
GOD IS LOVE!
If we’re watching a move of Mary & Joseph’s Love Story, this would be where we pan back, drifting out of the dusty Galilean Village, maybe going to a wider lens of the ancient landscape. Then, we keep going, showing the geographic forms we recognize like continents and oceans, and then going all the way to show the blue ball of Earth. Ultimately, the the Milky Way Galaxy, and somehow as it pans all the way back, there’s only this supernatural, infinite presence of LOVE remaining.
There is ONLY GOD! I love how the apostle Johnsaid it so simply … God is Love!
LOVE was there at the center of God’s creative forces that made the universe. Scripture tells us HE formed us in His image to be in relationship w/ Him. LOVE was there even when the world fell into Sin & Rebellion, and despite the catastrophic consequences of humanity’s fall, LOVE was there shepherding Adam & Eve and their family into this broken and altered world.
Even then, LOVE was making a way to restore all that had been lost!
GOD GIVES LOVE!
Mary’s journey to her cousin Elizabeth’s house couldn’t have been easy. The walk would have been long and hot, and the road must have been lonely. The miles must have echoed in her brain w/ the recent conversations:
- … the pain and hurt in Joseph’s eyes, and perhaps his words in response.
- … the disbelief and confusion from her family.
- … and yet also … the HOPE and Promise delivered by the Angel.
She knew the truth … but how would everyone else see it? What was going to happen to her?
GOD’S LOVE FLOWS THROUGH US
Like any true, God-written Love Story, Mary & Joseph’s LOVE was built upon the foundation of God’s Supernatural, Perfect LOVE, and it they trusted God and were willing to embark on on this crazy ride.
Mary & Joseph were in it together. The long journey to Bethlehem; the seemingly desperate night when Mary was about to give birth; and no place to even rest; Jesus’ first cry in area of the house where the animals would have been in Mary & Joseph’s arms.
Can you imagine the conversations that Mary & Joseph must have had? The crazy questions they had to kick around … Why Us? Seriously, why do you think God chose us?
And from the very beginning … if w/ all the long talks … tough conversations … days full of tension early on … they recognized Jesus was so much more than just Their Son! His life existed for ALL … He was truly God With Us!
And His LOVE would be offered to the world!