Christmas is Coming. Matthew 1:18-25
It’s always the same every year – Christmas is stressful! But has it always been like that?
Just think for a moment of Mary and Joseph, and the stress on them that very first Christmas, Mary, 9 months pregnant, tired, weary, and having to take this long journey of 80-100 miles. Then when they finally reach Bethlehem, it’s absolutely packed out with people, totally overcrowded, no room, no family to stay with, no place to safely give birth to a baby! Think how distressing and upsetting that must have been both for Mary and for Joseph! Finally Mary ends up giving birth amongst animals and a feeding trough.
Our God is with us and he understands us, even when everything else seems to be going against us this Christmas.
When the angel spoke to Joseph and told him to stick with Mary, because the child that she was pregnant with, really was God. The angel said to him, ‘you are to give him the name JESUS. (God saves – the Lord saves)
The names of Jesus are powerful reminders of the Good News of Christmas. God is breaking into our world – God is stepping onto planet earth – God is moving into the neighbourhood.
Nobody would have expected God to come like this! He’s coming in flesh and blood and bones. He’s coming to live amongst us – He’s coming to be one of us. Living amongst us in all of our struggles and our pains, living amongst us and experiencing first-hand the hurts and fears and disappointments of life on planet earth.
Christmas is a powerful reminder that our God has come right down to our level. He comes to share our life, to feel our pain, to experience our struggles first hand.
Whatever you’re going through this morning, would you feel understood by God?
Our God is with us and He is faithful to all His promises. He really is in control of everything, even when life is painful and puzzling this Christmas.
How puzzling was it for Mary and Joseph, from the first day that they heard that announcement that she was going to give birth to a baby. They are going to have a lot to work out over these next 9 months. They’ve got to work out how to deal with the constant criticism and gossip that they’ll live with over the whole 9 months of Mary’s pregnancy. Try and feel their frustration, their desperation, the pain and puzzlement. Trying to follow God, trying to do what God wants them to do, go where God wants them to go. Sometimes life seems puzzling!
Life doesn’t always make sense. But the truth is, that no matter how tough life is, no matter how difficult our circumstances, no matter how unsure and insecure the present or the future is, the truth is – OUR GOD IS WITH US.
Psalm 45 ‘The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all that he has made. For he loves us with an unfailing love. The faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. The LORD will work out His purposes for me. Your love O LORD endures forever.’
Our God is with us – he is faithful to us – He is working out His purposes in our lives. Do you really believe that?
Our God is with us and therefore we have hope, even in the most difficult circumstances, the darkest days of Christmas.
For Mary and Joseph that night, there must have been moments of absolute despair and desperation. Yet in the darkness of that night comes Jesus, Jesus arrives. He is the light of the world and the light breaks into the darkness. His birth brought joy, His presence brings hope, His coming brings life and light, and it still does today.
It brings strength to us when we’re struggling! It brings hope to us when things are in despair! It brings help to us when we’re feeling alone! Because He lives I can face tomorrow, because He lives I can face it with hope in my heart.