Its the Hap Happiest Season Of All!!!!! I am an unabashed, Christmas freak! I celebrate Christmas every day, but when this time of the year rolls around everything about me turns to joy! Why? Because the whole world begins to celebrate the love of our God! And that is the essence of Christmas! Here it is all wrapped up in a verse we all know and love:
For God so loved (fill in your name) that He suffered the indignity of leaving His heavenly throne to become a lowly humble human with a human body, be tempted at all points as we are but was without sin, was rejected and scorned by the very humans that He cherished and created, was brutally tortured, died of every disease known and unknown to man on the cross, suffered for three days in the bowels of the earth to pay for our sins once and for all, so that whosoever would believe in Him, trust Him, rely on Him, sell out for Him, make Him their King, Love Him back, Cherish Him as He does them, would never, ever perish but would spend eternity in joy, peace and happiness with Him! (John 3:16)
So Christmas is all about the depth and breadth of the Love of God which He clearly demonstrated as being infinite for (fill in your name) when He died on the cross for (fill in your name) while (fill in your name) was yet a sinner!!!!!!! (Romans 5:8)
As the day we have chosen to celebrate the birth of Jesus approaches, I am going to teach on some of the many people that God chose to involve in His entrance into the world. Perhaps my favorite is Mary.
In my opinion Mary is a Hero of Faith. If Abraham was the Father of Faith. then Mary was certainly the Mother of faith. Without getting into a divisive theological debate about holiness, lets just all agree that without question She was blessed and highly favored above all women!! We know that because the angel Gabriel declared it in a message to her from God!
Now, some of you have had at some point a hard time swallowing the whole virgin birth thing. That is just a fact. You know who you are. Don’t be ashamed. Many people have struggled with it. However, it is the absolute cornerstone of our belief of who Jesus was. Ask yourself this, who could have made up such a story. Really, slowly read the events of the first chapter of Luke and ask yourself that question. So, if you have questioned the virgin birth, think what Mary must have had to accept!
Mary according to Jewish tradition of that time was probably engaged to Joseph as young as 12 years old. The marriage and intimacy would have been planned for 2-4 years later. So lets say that Mary was between 14-16 years old. She was not a city dweller. She was from a very small village. She was very faithful to God. She had never seen a hologram or a movie or a television show or probably even a painting. All of a sudden Gabriel, THE angel of the Lord appears to her! Here is what He looks like:
“Behold a man clothed in linen whose loins were girded with pure gold of Uphaz. His body also was a golden luster like beryl, his face had the appearance of lightning, his eyes were like flaming torches, his arms and his feet like glowing burnished bronze, and the sound of his words was like the noise of a multitude of people like the roaring of the sea!
Now here is this little 15 year old Jewish country girl in complete fear and shock and ingest the words that THE angel of the Lord says to her:
“Hail, O favored one endued with grace! The Lord is with you! Blessed favored of God are you before all other women! Do not be afraid Mary, for you have found grace with God. And listen! You will become pregnant and will give birth to a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, eminent and will be called the Son of the Most High ; and the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His forefather David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob throughout the ages, and of His reign there will be no end.”
Mary said to Gabriel, How can this be since I am a virgin?
Then THE angel of the Lord said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you like a shining cloud and so the Holy pure sinless Thing which shall be born of you will be called the Son of God”
“And Listen! Your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is now the sixth month with her who was called barren. FOR WITH GOD, NOTHING IS EVER IMPOSSIBLE AND NO WORD FROM GOD SHALL BE WITHOUT POWER OR IMPOSSIBLE OF FULFILLMENT!”
Now at this point some of you may be asking how Mary could believe all of this. And the answer is the same for her as it is for us……by FAITH!
Faith is living in this present moment with joyful expectation of the things which we can not see!
Here is what Mary said in response and why she is my hero of faith:
“Behold I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be done unto me according to what you have said.”(Luke chapter one)
Lets all have a Mary Christmas. Full of faith and joy and belief and peace and happiness. Lets project the love of Jesus on everyone we meet! Lets focus on Jesus and what He did, and less on us and what we need to do.
Before the material rat race starts, lets determine to live this Christmas one moment at a time giving praise and laudation and eulogy constantly to the Lord our God for the eternal gift that He gave us!
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Pastor Allen Fleming
Throne of Grace
2590 Sandy Ct.
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