PREPARATION FOR THE VISITATION
OPENING: Children Nativity Video Clip
- To download a printable version of these notes, click HERE.
- To listen to or download the audio MP3, click HERE.
INTRO TO SPEAKER: It was seven years ago today I preached my first message at BCC.
- The title was, “Love, Acceptance, Forgiveness.” This is still our mission today.
- When we came here, Caleb was in grade 6, Hannah was just starting Kindergarten.
- This year, Hannah’s in grade 6, and Caleb’s getting ready to graduate grade 12.
- (Tori & Austin are in the middle).
- Been through a lot together since then! Looking forward to many more years together.
INTRO TO TOPIC:
- Every December I tell the Christmas story but wanted to do something different.
- I’ve told the story about Mary and Joseph going to Bethlehem, the angels appearing to the shepherds, the wise men bringing their gifts to Jesus.
- I’ve never told the story of Mary before the trip to Bethlehem.
- I prepared the message, but it was still missing something.
- Woke up this morning and asked the Lord, “What’s the point of this story?”
- He said, “What did you just finish reading?” Jeremiah. God’s judgment upon His people.
- Tell the whole story of the Old Testament: First woman Eve, first Gospel (Gen. 3:15), God wanting to have a relationship with His people, came down on the mountain, they told Moses to speak to God, God gave them the law, they kept breaking it. God warned them they would be punished if they didn’t repent, they didn’t, Assyria Israel, Babylon exiled Judah, then Jeremiah prophesied, “New Covenant,” Isaiah prophesied, “A Child will be born,” then we get to Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament:
- “Behold, I send My messenger, And he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, Will suddenly come to His temple, Even the Messenger of the covenant, In whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,” Says the Lord of hosts” (Malachi 3:1).
- “Return to me and I will return to you.” (Mal. 3:7).
- “But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings.” (Mal. 4:2).
- “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” (Mal. 4:5-6).
- Then – 400 years where God was silent. No prophecies. No miracles. Just waiting.
BACKGROUND TO THE FIRST CHRISTMAS STORY:
- In Luke Chapter One, we see the story of Zachariah and Elisabeth, two ‘pastor’s kids’ who are faithfully waiting for the Messiah. An angel appears to Zachariah and tells him he’s going to have a son, John, who will prepare the way for the Messiah, Jesus.
- Christmas is all about celebrating Jesus – the Saviour of the world.
I. MARY THE BLESSED:
“26 Now in the sixth month (of Elisabeth’s pregnancy with John) the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” (Luke 1:26-28, NKJV).
- Here we are introduced to Mary: A pure virgin who was favoured and blessed by God.
- Both Joseph and Mary were of the lineage of King David of Israel.
- When the Lord was looking for someone to be the mother of Jesus, He looked for someone who was walking in purity, humility and faithfulness.
- Most scholars believe that Mary was probably around 13 years old.
II. JESUS THE SAVIOUR:
“29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:29-33).
- Stop and think for a moment how Mary must have been feeling: “She was troubled at his saying.” She was a teenage girl! What awesome responsibility…
- See the similarity in this passage with Isaiah’s prophecy about the Christ Child.
- “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom.” (Isaiah 9:6-7a, NKJV).
- PREACH JESUS!
ALL THINGS POSSIBLE:
“34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” 35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible.” 38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.” (Luke 1:34-38, NKJV).
- Because Mary was a virgin, it was impossible for her to have a child. It was a miracle!
- When the Holy Spirit comes upon us today, God still does miracles!
- The Precious Promise: “For with God, nothing will be impossible.”
- This Christmas: what impossible situation are you facing in your family? Trust God!
- Are you struggling financially? With God, nothing will be impossible.
- Are you struggling with your health, relationships, struggling to find joy and peace? With God, nothing will be impossible.
- CHALLENGE: Pray and believe God for a miracle – ‘tis the season!
- We should have the same attitude as Mary: “I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be to me according to Your Word.” Amen!
III. JOSEPH THE JUST:
“18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.” (Matthew 1:18-19).
- The first thing we learn about Joseph – he was a just man.
- When he found out Mary was pregnant, he could have demanded she be stoned.
- However, he was going to break off the engagement instead, and not embarrass her.
“20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” 24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.” (Matthew 1:20-25).
- Another thing we see about Joseph here is that he was quick to obey the Lord.
- One of the names of the Son of God is Jesus – which means Saviour.
- Another one of the names of Jesus here: Immanuel – which means God is with us.
- God is not watching us from a distance, but He wants to be involved in our lives!
- Notice Joseph didn’t ‘know her’ until Jesus was born. After that, Joseph and Mary had four sons and at least two daughters (Mark 6:3).
- Mary did not remain a perpetual virgin. Neither did she have an immaculate conception.
- We are not supposed to pray to Mary. She was blessed, but still just a human.
LESSONS FROM JOSEPH AND MARY’S STORY:
- Like Mary, we should walk in purity, humility and obedience.
- Like Joseph, we should be just, compassionate and obedient.
- God’s looking for people that He can use today to bring Jesus to the world.
JESUS WANTS TO VISIT YOU TODAY:
“Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited and redeemed His people, And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of His servant David… Through the tender mercy of our God, With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:68-69,78-79).
- “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?” (Psalm 8:3-4).
CLOSING: Prayer for everyone to experience a visitation with joy, peace and hope.
Beausejour Community Church Website: www.beausejourchurch.ca
Pastor Chris Jordan’s Blog: http://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/