RAP SHEET 12/19/21
Sermon: Christmas - Mary
Scripture: Luke 1:26-38
ICE BREAKER: Would you rather receive gifts for Christmas or experiences (like a trip or activity)?
In this series we are slowing down and paying attention to the details of the Christmas Narrative. Last week we saw the nativity through the eyes of Joseph and this week we are looking at it through the lens of Mary's experience.
Mary is a famous figure held in extremely high regard. At Christmas time she certainly gets a lot of attention! However, to really feel the weight of her role in the Christmas story, you have to start with realizing that she was a nobody! Mary was a poor girl from Nazareth - a despised part of Galilee.
She had no outer qualifications to be picked for such an extremely important job. There was nothing about her or her life that made her an obvious choice for this position. However, by the end of this section of scripture we see the quality that positioned her perfectly to live out her purpose.
What are some areas in your life where you feel unqualified?
What is it about your past that or present situation that makes you wonder whether or not God can use you?
The Angel Gabriel came to Mary with a greeting that startled her:
“Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you.”
This intro troubled Mary. She did not see herself reflected in what the angel was saying. What is favored about her life? "The Lord is with you," the angel said. This is a common phrase that God used throughout scripture to prepare someone for a huge task! Mary just could not understand why anyone would choose her.
The angel consoled Mary and let her know that God had graciously chosen her. Mary did not earn this position and it wasn't given based on worldly qualifications. God does not discriminate! If you are ready to follow him, he has a purpose lined out for you.
Mary was told she would have a child and name him Jesus. There was one big problem though - Mary was a virgin. However, the Lord's messenger gave Mary the bottom line:
NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD.
Whether or not Mary gets to play a world-changing role in the History God is writing comes down to how she responds to this moment. In verse 38 she says, "I am the Lord's Servant... May it happen to me as you have said." This is a phrase that the working class would use to address their superior. It is a phrase Mary would have heard her whole life as a member of the lower-class. It is a way to let someone know that you understand the assignment and you are ready for the work head!
Mary's story shows us that God is looking for people who are READY for whatever God has for them.
Mary could have easily let her insecurity keep her from her destiny. We are in danger of doing the same if we can not trust that God truly wants to call us into a great adventure in spite of all the ways we are unqualified.
What is ONE WAY you will begin to challenge an area of your life where you are letting insecurity hold you back?
In other words, what will you do to make sure that you are READY for whatever opportunities God brings your way?
Perhaps you are not reading or listening to scripture often. If you are not hearing from God's word about what HE thinks about you, it will be easy to replace those truths with the voice of your own insecurity.
Maybe you have surrounded yourself with people who tear you down and it's time to distance yourself form that negative input.
Your life and your purpose matter to much to allow the weight of the world to keep you from being READY for God.
Ask God to continue to show you the ways you have counted yourself out from what He might have planned for your life. Focus on Jesus and the sacrifice he made to come to this earth. Realize that he showed up on Christmas to give you a chance at a meaningful life and an adventure like no other!