Alive Wesleyan

Get Real (Broken Halos - Week 2)

December 17, 2018 Episode 89
Alive Wesleyan
Get Real (Broken Halos - Week 2)
Chapters
Alive Wesleyan
Get Real (Broken Halos - Week 2)
Dec 17, 2018 Episode 89
Alive Wesleyan
I wonder if we have almost sanitized the Christmas story so it’s believable as a Fairy Tale for children and yet not believable as adults who know better. Baby Jesus came to die on the cross because we had to be forgiven. But that is too dark for us, so we sanitize it and prefer to think of Christmas this way. These were real people who had real lives and faced real events that sometimes got real weird and produced real fears in a very real Bible. “How did this happen?” “What will I do now?” What would I do if that happened to me?
Show Notes Transcript

I wonder if we have almost sanitized the Christmas story so it’s believable as a Fairy Tale for children and yet not believable as adults who know better.

 

Baby Jesus came to die on the cross because we had to be forgiven.

 

But that is too dark for us, so we sanitize it and prefer to think of Christmas this way.

 

These were real people who had real lives and faced real events that sometimes got real weird and produced real fears in a very real Bible.

 

“How did this happen?”

 

“What will I do now?”

 

What would I do if that happened to me?

Speaker 1:
0:00
Good morning everybody, I'm glad you're here. I want to thank you for coming and uh, man, I'm glad to be a church and I'm going to finish this all the way through December now to do the broken halo series. Excited about that. Just want to reiterate, as you've already heard, if you have some folks that you'd love to invite to Christmas Eve, a heather mallory have already shown me kind of a rundown of what they're going to do. Christmas Eve. They give me 10 minutes to preach, so that'd be a Christmas miracle and I'm so that's going on, but it's going to be fantastic. The music and uh, the thing that Steph is going to do for the kids, it's phenomenal. So make sure you invite someone to come along, bring your neighbor friends, and even people who don't like that would be fantastic and I love for you to be part of that and we'll have fire because we always closed that service with fire.
Speaker 1:
0:38
So it's gonna be amazing. I'm going to have word of prayer and we'll share with you what God placed on my heart today. Jesus, thank you so much for these good folks in the high honor of being able to share with them. Lord, we didn't come here just because we didn't have anything else to do. Uh, we're all here because we feel there's tremendous value to you in our lives and speaking into our lives. And Lord, I'm aware enough of situations in the room. We're not only is a tremendous value, but we have a specific situation where it has tremendous value for you to speak into our lives. And so father, we just want to invite you to do that. And some of us that's gonna be a big way. Some of us will be a small way, but when we drive off this hill, I pray that all of us will at least know this is what God's working on me.
Speaker 1:
1:19
This is how I can be more like Jesus, how I can love people, how I can deal with myself, how can deal with my past or my present. This is how it can be more like Jesus. So I pray you'd make that crystal clear. All of us hide me, deepen your cross. I pray over the next few moments in your name. Amen. Now, I, I really believe what that little bumper video kinda says, and the first line actually cracks me up. You know, that the Bible shows weird people. I believe that I, I think there are some weird people. In fact, as I kind of started growing in my understanding of scripture, uh, through college and getting a masters and all I discovered there are a whole lot of stories that Ms Dot Sally who taught me Sunday school left out when I tried to understand what I mean.
Speaker 1:
2:02
She did the John, the whale and Dana Lion's den and all those were pretty cool stories. But man, I started discovering other stories that are in there. And you think, man, that's just weird. And one of my favorite stories has to do with the Prophet Elijah and Elijah was bald. He, he, he was follicly challenged. And so, um, there's this story in scripture about how a bunch of young guys came out of town and made fun of him for being bald. They called them like chrome dome, you know, you know all these kinds of stuff, and then a bunch of bears came out and ate all the young men that were making fun of Alicia. Where was that story when I was growing up and where's the praise chorus for that particular story. That'd be great. That'd be great story to kind of share with people you didn't know that was in there.
Speaker 1:
2:44
Did you? It's an amazing thing and all you bald guys are like, it's about time. You know, we get some retribution. There's this other story in scripture that Kinda got my attention because I think it was sort of tone down, but ms dot allie never discussed it with me and it was this, Jesus is on this boat and he goes to a shore and as he gets to the shore, this dude is buck naked. I don't know what buck naked means, but it means he doesn't have any clothes on. So he's naked and he goes running to Jesus and he's babbling all this stuff. So picture it. I don't picture it. Picture from the waist up, but anyway, this guy knows it, comes running to Jesus and Jesus. It gets off the boat to preach a sermon and this, this guy can. Well apparently this guy was filled with demons that I don't totally get all that, but Jesus, the demons have this conversation with the naked guy and so in my sick mind, and it is.
Speaker 1:
3:36
It is a strange place up here, but you just wonder what the guy did while the demons were talking and trying to figure out, but so Jesus is talking to the demons and the demons said, well, would you mind throwing us into the herd of pigs over here? Weird story. So Jesus throws them into the herd of pigs and the demons. Then the pigs go running off a cliff and die and they were deviled. Ham came from just because you were so rude and your laughter just now. There was another store. It's kind of apocryphal, were the same scenario happened, but this time instead of pigs, it was actually chickens and Jesus through them into chickens and they ran off the edge of the cliff and God created deviled eggs. That's exactly right. You heard it first right here. That's exactly what happened. It's in.
Speaker 1:
4:22
It's not in the Bible at all, but you know that. That's just a funny thing. So here's kind of my point for all of this. Here's my point for all this. When I hear some of these strange stories in scripture, I'm Kinda glad they're in there and this is why. If all of scripture was like this hallmark movie marathon, then I wouldn't think it was relevant to me. If all of scripture was this kind of a, everything's perfect and everything turns out right. I would not only think the scripture wasn't relevant to me, but I would wonder if this whole faith was relevant for me. I've kind of come to this point where I believe I need a belief system that will help me not just when everything is up into the right in my life, not just when everything is going great, but actually you need a belief system that will engage with me on bad days and during challenging stages of my life through times of loss, in times of grief and in the midst of doubt and turmoil or anxiety.
Speaker 1:
5:19
I don't. I don't want any more fake ideas. You follow? I don't want like a, I don't want tinsel on this whole thing. I want real and, and that gets me to Christmas. See and I'm going to come across as a grinch. I understand that and maybe it's true, but I almost think we sanitized Christmas, the Christmas story to a point where it's believable as a fairy tale for our children, but we adults act like he doesn't have anything to do with us anymore. In fact, we've drawn cartoon versions of it now and so we have these cartoon pictures of Christmas example a and just take a. okay, so you've got the cleanest farm animals. I have ever seen laying in the cleanest Straw which makes me wonder where they did number one and number two and they're laying and then you have Jesus who apparently was born at two years old with a full head of hair and if Mary popped out something that size are guaranteed, that's not her expression and our thought is this and Christmas world that we've made any moment now Santa is going to come around the corner with his bag full of toys and they're all going to go scampering over here to try to find the Elf in the tree.
Speaker 1:
6:30
You know? That's kind of how the whole thing's going to play out and we think, oh, this is so cute. This is so wonderful for the children. It's like we've combined mother goose and Jesus and they came up with a story. We have this cartoon Christmas in a feel good Christmas that we all celebrate and that's a good plan. It is a good plan and I'm not saying we should stop any of that, but aren't there times in your life? Please tell me. Yes. When a cartoon, God isn't going to cut it, aren't there things going on in your life where you don't want to bow to this? Aren't there times in your life, a lot of times in your life when there is no connection to what should be porcelain dolls sitting somewhere in our house because it's true for me. Have you ever had a Christmas celebration where the room is filled with people opening presence, but you're somehow detached like there's a whole lot of joy in the room and excitement, but in the back of your mind you're carrying a certain burden. Do you know what I'm saying? Please tell me that so I don't feel totally weird. So like back, you're like, oh, this is Italian. This is one, but in the back of your mind, you have burden. This last, this thing that you're anxious about and you're carrying it right back here. Oh, there are times in life
Speaker 1:
8:01
when I. I need what's Real, not pretend, no false pretense, no artificial, no plastic Jesus. Nothing that's been spit shined or tinted with rose colored glasses. There is a very real and dark side to Christmas and I'm not talking about fruit cake because that also is a very dark side to Christmas that somebody invented, but it is not of God, but nonetheless, I'm actually talking about something even more serious than that behind the shepherds and behind the angels in behind the beautiful farm animals and behind all the wise men. There's this dark, vitally important, costly, stunning, altering reality. Baby Jesus came to die on a cross because you and I had to be forgiven. That's the reality of Christmas. You and I were so jacked up in our world is so messed up that baby Jesus had to come in a manger so he could die on a cross so you and I could be forgiven. You see, all of us were in this sin stained place and sin was wreaking havoc on our world and people were hurting each other and abusing each other and families were in peril and relationship. Turmoil was everywhere, and nations were abusing other nations and people were living with this purpose. His existence in the wealthy were overindulging, indulging in the poor. We're struggling to survive and we were in this desperate need of being saved, but there wasn't any hope.
Speaker 1:
9:42
Oh, one day maybe. And so we're stuck in this cycle of, of, of Yuck, and into that cycle, Jesus came
Speaker 1:
9:54
ultimately to be sacrificed and to die. How tough is that one? The teaching Sunday school, how tough is that one? But it's too dark for us. And so even as adults we sort of just focus on the fairytale pieces. Even in our art classical art, we've kind of sanitize the whole Christmas idea. This is one of my favorite examples. I want you to look at this incredible poor manger with concrete poured walls in the back and look again. There's blue ribbon farm animals hanging around. This dude, he even brought his sheep to church. I mean, that's kind of what's going on, but don't don't miss this. Apparently Jesus was a two year old when he was born and he's the whitest Middle Eastern baby I've ever seen in my life. And once again you mothers tell me because you've been through it. I have and I've read books. How in the world is married? Looked like that when that just happened in her life. I don't understand. See, we've polished this whole thing up and the thing that really gets me in this whole discussion, including the cartoon Christmas, are these things. What are those things, these, these halo things. What are those about? You know, write this down
Speaker 1:
11:06
best. Not Real. Apparently in art and cartoon art and classical art, his ideas, if you're super spiritual, your head will glow. That doesn't happen. It's never happened. That's not what happens if you're a head glows, you're bold and sitting under a lamp. That's the problem you got going on. Okay? It's not that you are kind of super saintly. That's not what's happening. So here's what I think we should do. This Christmas series, if you decide to come back and it's this, why don't we get real in order to know the real story and then the see if there's any relevancy to us at all. Let's be courageous enough to try this. What are, what really happened? Because here's what I know. The Christmas story is one of real people who had lives and they faced really events that sometimes got real weird and produced real fears in a very real scripture.
Speaker 1:
12:04
This whole thing took place and when these real people had something really weird happened in their lives, their first responses is the exact same responses that you and I would have because they're ordinary, normal people like us. You think back to a trial in your life, maybe you can think of like a long time ago. Maybe it's one year dry grinded through right now or maybe it's when you see coming, diagnosis, relationship struggle, loss of employment, trouble with kids, trouble with parents, whatever, and when that happens, we who are real people. We asked the same question, how did this happen? Fair. So you go to the doctor and the doctor said, hey, this is going on and you think, wow, how'd this happen? Or You have a relationship fall apart. Wow, what went wrong? It's not you, it's me. You know that kind of discussion takes place or there's a financial struggle. How'd this happen? Let's look at the books. Let's see how this happened. We wanted to know, we want to understand what produced these circumstances, why did our life take this uninvited turn, and as soon as we get some kind of closure on the how question, we follow it with the second question and it's this, well, now what are we going to do?
Speaker 1:
13:21
You follow? How'd this happen? Now what are we going to do? What's our new normal? How are we going to figure this out? See, these are very real responses to real life and what you're going to see in the Christmas story is this is exactly how the normal people in the Christmas story responded. Now again, Tom, why does any of this even matter? Well, here, here's what I'm suggesting. If our current church, if our church people, thus if we can convince ourselves that the cast of Christmas characters weren't real people or normal people like me and like you, they would never be at alive. We can convince ourselves, if we can put them in the other category different than me, super spiritual people with extraordinary lives, people who had Halos,
Speaker 1:
14:11
then their lives and our lives are no longer connected. There's nothing relevant there, but the problem with that idea is there are no people that go into super spiritual. Other category here. What I just said, there is nobody on the planet that goes into super spiritual category. All we have are people and if we have Halos, they're all broken. That's all we have on the planet. That's all we've ever had on the planet. There's nobody on the planet. This is so super spiritual. They got this amazing halo that doesn't happen. They're just normal people living their lives. They didn't have perfect lives. There are like me and people like you didn't have lives that we're free from pain, and certainly the Christmas characters didn't have that. They didn't have live free from doubt or fear or loss or hurt or the things that are beyond their control. They're not people who never sinned or ever did anything wrong, wherever had a bad thought. That's not these people. Those people don't exist. These were ordinary people who woke up in their ordinary bed wearing their ordinary pajamas and they had their ordinary Bagel and ordinary cup of coffee and the kiss. They're very ordinary spouse, good morning, yelled at their ordinary kids to get into the minivan, got in their ordinary minivan and went on their ordinary day and then God showed up. That's what happened.
Speaker 1:
15:37
In other words, they live a life just like we live and then God showed up and we all know this. We all know what it is to get up in our ordinary bed wearing her ordinary pajamas and get our ordinary Bagel and have our ordinary coffee, and then we head into a day and something happened that we had not planned on happening. Fair. Something went on, something changed. Maybe it didn't feel like God. Maybe it's even difficult to see God in the midst of the interruption, but he was there. So as we refresh ourselves with the Christmas story, I just want to encourage you to ask yourself the question this year. Every time you hear it, I just want you to ask yourself the question, what would I do if that happened to me?
Speaker 1:
16:24
What would I do if it happened to me? Let me show you. In the six month God sent the Angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The Virgin's name was Mary. Let's pause just a moment and let's make sure we keep it real. There's an angel there. Now. Angel is a messenger from God. People still see angels today. I've never seen one. I've been called one numerous times, but I've never actually seen one, but they are exist. They do around. Some of you may have had the experience or know somebody, and this particular angel was named Gabriel. Now here's what we know about angels. They're God's messenger. They were, they were large. Some people even say like nine feet tall. They were men and they were warriors. That's what we know about angels so far, nothing about hearts.
Speaker 1:
17:10
That's a cartoon thing. Nothing about harp. So this is what we know. So this angel, his name was Gabriel. He shows up. Now, whenever an angel shows up and scripture, there's always two things that happened. You can go home and check me on this. There's an amazing light and there's amazing fear. Now is your time is not relevant to me. Au contraire contraire. Think that's a foreign language. I just heard your. I just put that out right there. Here. Here's what it says. This is from psalm 34 slash seven. It's not in your notes. It actually, I was reading my scripture this morning and found it this morning. But listen to this, the angel of the Lord encamps circles around those who fear or revere him and he delivers them. Now, let me just tell you what this means, because this is really going to be like freaky zone for you. Apparently the angels of the Lord are around us all the time. I don't believe you. It's in the Bible. Read it for yourself. You figure it out. Let me know what you've come up with. Angels of the Lord around us all the time. Mary lives in a small town, uh, in, in, in that called Nazareth in Galilee, which is just south of the c. Now let's just talk a bit about Nazareth. Nazareth is a town of about 400 people. Now, just for our sake, if you're from six mile, if you're aware of six mile, it has 675 people in it.
Speaker 1:
18:33
Essentially Mary was from six mile without the dollar general store. That's where Mary came from. That's exactly who that is. She was a small town kid. That's the, that's the size town she came from. Now she's a virgin. Now what that means that she's pledged to be married. So what that means is she's developed to the point where she's able to have children and most people would agree she somewhere between 13 and 15 years old and she's pledged to be married to Joseph Joseph, somewhere between 30 and 40 years old. And I was like, well that's kind of weird. Yeah, it was in our day, but it wouldn't have been weird in that day they had these things called on arranged marriages.
Speaker 1:
19:10
And the older my girls get, the more I'm in favor of, of having these because I've done some reading and apparently if it's an arranged marriage and you got girls, you get paid, you get paid for this, which I think is a great idea. And plus you can get rid of the stray dogs that followed him home all the time. You know, you can kinda say, well, here's the arranged marriage and here's who you're going to end up with. And that, that's great. It's still practiced at some places in the world. But for our scenario, Mary is pledged to be married to Joseph. He apparently it's paid a dowry to Mary's parents and they're going to get married. Joseph, as I said, is probably older, average lifespan that times 45 years old. So some scholars suggest that you don't hear much from Joseph after the, after the Christmas story because he died. Some people suggest that's what happened. The Angel of the Lord went to her,
Speaker 1:
19:59
said, greetings. You who are highly favored. The Lord is with you. Married one of the greatest understatements in all of scripture was greatly troubled. Golly, you think at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be in our vernacular, it would be. What do you know? That would be the moment that we would have right there. Have you spelled that in Greek? That's what they would write because that's what her feeling was. Now most of us aren't going to see an angel. I get that, but don't sanitize this too much. This is an ordinary person who has your sleep interrupted by a large growing man at the foot of her bed. If that happens at my house, I'm reaching for our home security system while being scared to death, right? Like what's going on right now in this house? What's happening right now? These were real people. Marries a real girl who has a real situation on our hands. They have never experienced this before. It's not like Mary grew up seeing angels at the foot of her bed. She was in her ordinary day. She had ordinary brushed her teeth and ordinary floss in ordinary. Went to bed and she woke up with an angel in a room.
Speaker 1:
21:05
She was greatly troubled. It's going to get worse for Mary because the angel says to her, do not be afraid. Remember the angels always accompanied with fear and light. Don't be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God, which sounds pretty good, but it's getting ready to take an unexpected turn. Mary, you're going to be with child and give birth to a son and you're to name him Jesus. Now at that point, marriage thinking, wow, this is handy. I'm going to get married to Joseph. We're going to have a son and I don't have to read any naming books. I can just name him Jesus because the angel said the name of Jesus. This is fantastic, but he will be great and he'll be called some of the most high. We're now married and have a little bit. I'm not marrying Mr. Most High. I'm marrying Joseph. None of this was called son of the most high. What do you mean when the Lord God is actually gonna? Give him the throne of his father David and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever. His kingdom will never end. Mary and six mile has just been told she's going to have a baby and the baby's going to rule the world,
Speaker 1:
22:05
right? However you interpret that. We know it means something different now, but that's what she'd been told. So Mary does something very, very ordinary. What will you do if this happened to you? What would you do if it happened to you? Well, here I am. Say I'm a virgin and I've just been told I'm pregnant. Then you would have a question. What would you do? Have an angel shows up, says you are with child. You do exactly what Mary says. Mary says this, how can it be? And it's exactly what you would ask. How is this going on? How did this happen? And the angel answered her question. While the Holy Spirit will come upon you in the power of the most high will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the son of God. So Mary has this moment where she comes to this reality that she is actually now going to be carrying the son of God. She's pregnant and she no longer and she's gotta explain this to the rest of the people in her community and she's pregnant with God's son, so she's come to that. So Mary has this discussion of how can this be? And to be honest with you,
Speaker 1:
23:16
she doesn't get grill, good clarity. So she goes to the next question, which is this, now what am I going to do? And for her, the answer was to resolve. Here's what she said. I am the Lord's servant. Mary answered, may it be to me as you have said, and the angel left her. Now let's make this ours. Married, decides in this moment, I am the Lord's servant. Don't misunderstand. She has no idea what's going on. She has no idea how this thing's going to play out. She doesn't know what it's going to be like to live with an illness. She doesn't know what's going to be like to live alone. She doesn't know it's going to be like to live. When this relationship has fallen apart, she doesn't know, but she just decides because apparently she believes in God and Mary believes God can do impossible things, and I think this is one of the most encouraging lessons from the dark side of Christmas. God will choose people we wouldn't choose to do things that we never thought possible in ways that we have never considered and all of Christmas is this reality. In fact, I would suggest that some of you actually may be at church today because of this statement because maybe you're going through something. What if this statement is true for you and your situation or the situation I find myself in today?
Speaker 1:
24:41
It leads to this question, what if that's true? What if the situation that is beyond your control that you're experiencing right now? What if that's what's going on? God chooses people we wouldn't choose to do things that we'd never thought possible and ways we have never considered. What if that's going on? You say, Tom, the yuck component of my life right now. That may be God. Absolutely. What if that's what he's using? You say, that's a horrible idea. I know, but tell that to 13 year old girl who's pregnant, but she's never had sex before with the son of God. She's pregnant with God. An ordinary person grew up in six mile. Well, something like six mile, and this leads me to this question. What about Mary allowed her to embrace the situation that was completely out of her control because those are the ones that get me. It's not a situation that I feel like I have some power in. I feel like I'm alone. Are you with me? Anybody you want to come on? Come on. It's not like a situation where I have power in a situation where I can make a decision and fix it. I'm talking about situations I can't fix.
Speaker 1:
26:04
I'm talking about situations that are beyond me. How did she get to this point of resolve and I sought this out. I tried to find a really great answer for you and I think I did, but I also think it's an answer you'd expect. I think it's in Mary's first words, I'm the Lord's servant. It's faith. Somehow Mary said, in the midst of all that was going on and seeing the big angel, well, I believe God is who he says he is and God's going to do everything he promises to do.
Speaker 2:
26:35
That's faith. That's faith.
Speaker 1:
26:39
But Tom, I got this going on. I know. Tell Mary, so when life
Speaker 3:
26:45
is no longer ordinary for me and I'm dealing with things that are beyond what I would choose,
Speaker 1:
26:53
I believe that God is who he says he is and he'll do everything he promised to do. I am the Lord's servant. So married comes to this point where essentially she says,
Speaker 3:
27:05
okay, I'm in. I'm in
Speaker 1:
27:11
now. Don't make any mistake here. To think that once she said I'm in her life got better because it didn't. Next week we're really going to look at this a little stronger.
Speaker 3:
27:22
I got to thinking
Speaker 1:
27:24
what would it be like for her to tell Joseph this? So they go out on a date, which is hard considering where they grew up. Let's say they go bowling, I don't know. Then they go bowling and have a good time and again in the car and start driving home. The guy in the caravan. Okay, nevermind. So again, the car and start driving home
Speaker 3:
27:50
and Mary says, Joseph, I had a good time tonight. And Joseph.
Speaker 1:
27:57
Yeah, me too, because he has a deeper voice. He says, yeah, me too.
Speaker 3:
28:03
Hey Joseph, I got something I want to talk to you about. Oh, great. One to talk about what? You know what color we're going to paint the new house. Is that what? Is that what it does? This is going to talk about who's going to be in the wedding? No.
Speaker 1:
28:18
Oh Joseph. It's a little bigger than that. See? Apparently I. What would you say if you heard I,
Speaker 3:
28:29
I'm pregnant. What would you do if this happened to you? I'm pregnant, but it's okay. It's the son of God.
Speaker 1:
28:45
What you would do if that happened to you is exactly what Joseph did. You know why he's normal. And so the scripture says, Joseph Thought, I've got to figure out how to get rid of this one. It doesn't say that it says it in Bible terms, but that's essentially what he said and he made up his mind that he would let her go. This is, this is a sign for that. Let her go quietly.
Speaker 3:
29:11
That's what he decided to do, but then
Speaker 1:
29:14
Joseph has an angel show up at his house. You know what the Angel said at his house? I'm not telling you, you gotta read it for yourself, but it's in the Bible. You can go read it for yourself. Check out in the beginning of Luke, you'll see it. Angel spoke to Joseph. Now I understand I'm in touch enough with reality and probably we're not going to see an angel who says, any of us are pregnant with the savior of the world and I for 1:00 AM grateful
Speaker 3:
29:42
because that's already happened. I get that, but isn't there a great chance that one or two, 12 over 20 people in this room are facing something that they will feel just as crazy, just as impossible and just as uninvited and you will ask how. How can this be? And I want to tell you something, just as a a dude trying to do life who has experienced these moments before, and I hope I'm not getting too transparent with you here, but in those moments when something comes uninvited into your life and you're wrestling with the how can this be? If I'm left to myself, it crushes me. Come on, I'm not alone in my it. It ripped me to shreds. How can it be in? This kind of gets to what I think's wrong with our Christmas celebrations. What kind is this forming? This disconnect for me in every way, the story you will hear over and over and over again during the season on televisions and in churches and is dangerously wrong when it comes to who we are and what we need, it encourages us to find comfort. We're comfort. Can't be found. How can this be? I have no idea and encouraged us to place our hope in things that will never will never deliver. Just control as much as possible. Just put as much money in the bank is possible. Just do all the right things. Cross the t's dot the i's and wipe your dirty little nose and things will be great for you, but it's not real. It's not true. It's not true. Aren't you glad you came to church today?
Speaker 3:
32:00
It tries to sell us this bill of goods that life never has dark days and life never has dark places and that is a lie. Unlike the sanitized Christmas stories we hear the true advent narrative of Jesus coming is actually a sad story about a world terribly broken by sin, populated by self centered rebels like me who are willing participants in our own destruction. It's about being created to live for God in every and
Speaker 1:
32:40
yet choosing to regularly live for myself. This Christmas story is about conditions so desperate that God looked down on the planet and God did the unthinkable. God looked down to the planet and he saw this community and he did the unthinkable and he sent his son to be a baby, but make no mistake to be the sacrificial lamb of God. And why did Jesus Come?
Speaker 2:
33:13
You Ready?
Speaker 1:
33:17
Because we were so lost. We were so lost, so insane. Slaved so self deceived that there was simply no other way God can rescue us.
Speaker 2:
33:40
Mary,
Speaker 1:
33:43
it's gonna. Get worse from here.
Speaker 3:
33:48
In fact, 33 years later, marriage is going to be at
Speaker 1:
33:54
the cross, the foot of the cross, as she watches what takes place to her son. Huh?
Speaker 3:
34:01
That's not a good day. Well back it up
Speaker 1:
34:06
when Jesus is to
Speaker 2:
34:10
cool
Speaker 1:
34:11
there, there's gonna be a crazy king who wants to, who's threatened because he heard a new kings born and so he kills all the two year old boys and then Mary has to take her family moved and they actually have to go high def to leave their town and they have to go hide in another country in Egypt. It doesn't get easier for Mary. She can raise her own family and a lot of those people aren't gonna believe when they say Jesus, Jesus is the son of God. They're not gonna believe it either
Speaker 2:
34:40
doesn't get easier for Mary.
Speaker 1:
34:44
Here's my. Here's what I'm saying, until you and I are willing to hear and understand the bad news, the good news won't be attractive to us until we sit there at Christmas and celebrate the fact Jesus came with the awareness of why he came. Christmas will always be a fairytale, but this Christmas when you're sitting there and everybody's doing whatever you all do at Christmas in that thing plays in the back of your mind about, oh, I wish so and so was here, or I wish this hadn't happened this week or this burden. I'm carrying our hope so and so gets better. That's no longer a back brain issue. That's now front brain issue. Did you see what I did? That was kind of a moment I have a front brain issue because Christmas came for that very scenario.
Speaker 3:
35:37
Christmas is all about that very thing. It's not some fairy tale, so ask yourself the question this Christmas, how did it happen and maybe you'll have clarity on that.
Speaker 1:
35:49
To be honest with you, some of these life altering events for me, I now get a whole lot of clarity on how like Mary, I don't understand,
Speaker 3:
35:58
but perhaps the second question is even more important. Now what am I going to do? Mary said on the Lord Servant, and that's a big deal because what Mary says, this we live in a world of that is a sea of uncertainty. We have no idea what comes tomorrow, fair, no idea, and in that sea of uncertainty, she makes a claim. Come with me. I'm the Lord Servant.
Speaker 2:
36:38
Come on mate.
Speaker 3:
36:40
Me and God are going to finish this together. Come what? May God and I are in this together. That for me, that news, that Jesus came on, this glorious mission of grace to live and die and rise in our place is worth celebrating. To me when you understand it was our only hope. It's how broken haloed people like us are redeemed by God. That is so crazy. Nuts in love with us that he interrupts our lives with a baby who ultimately would be a sacrifice. This is your Christmas adults. Don't let anybody rip it away from you. It's your Christmas. There's a dark side to Christmas. It's yours. It's not just a fairy tale. It's yours. Let God care for you. This Christmas, Jesus, you're good to us. Thank you for your love. Thank you for these incredible people and the high honor of being able to share with them where you placed on my heart today. Thank you for the hope of Christmas. Thank you for
Speaker 1:
37:57
being able to stand in a room like this with these people and all of us living our own lives and realize there's actually a hope. There's actually a hope and thank you that all the scenarios represented in this room, all the different things people are carrying that are hurtful, that are difficult, that don't have clear how answers.
Speaker 3:
38:18
Thank you that all those scenarios, we can still speak forth in a sea of uncertainty and make one thing certain. I'm lowered servant. I'm the Lord's servant. I'm the Lord's servant. I encourage you to speak that out into whatever situation you got going on. I'm the Lord's servant. Just like Mary. I'm the Lord's servant. Just like Joseph. I'm the Lord's servant, and ultimately really just like Jesus, not my will. Lord, Yours be done. In your name we pray. Amen.