A Blue Christmas (12/14/14)

Posted by on Dec 20, 2014 in Sermons | 0 comments

On Sunday the 14th, Pastor Jim continued his Advent sermon series on the  “colors of Christmas”.  This week, his theme was “a Blue Christmas.”
Start the audio recording below, then scroll down and follow along.
 

The scripture reading was from Matthew’s account of the birth.  Matthew gives Joesph’s perspective, while Luke (last week’s passage) speaks from Mary’s perspective.  Pastor Jim read from the New King James version.  Matthew 1:18-25...
 

Matthew 1:18-25

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.

1Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.

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.

 

1:  Joseph:  The first Blue Christmas… but He was ready.
Joseph was in a pretty rough situation.  What should he do about Mary.  What should he do about the gossip and shame?  In verse 20 it says that Joseph lay awake considering this… pondering this.  Because he was praying and  looking for God’s answer, the answer  came.

2:  The Shepherds were Prepared.
Despite fear, they were able to hear the angels  voices.  They immediately got up to see the Baby Jesus.

3:  The Magi were Prepared.
They knew the scriptures (verbal or otherwise), and when they saw the  star they knew it was an important  sign that God was doing  something big by sending a new (and very special) King.

The scriptures that prepared Joseph, the shepherds and the Magi, can prepare us.  God has taught us to look towards Him.  To focus  on Him and to love Him above all else.  When we do, we will be able to hear His voice and experience His peace.  The key to escaping the Blues is to hear God’s call.

 

Psalm 42
This song of David gives us a formula for dealing with the  blues.  When we have the blues we look down (“my soul is cast down within me” as David said).  We look to self.  But David calls us to look UP.  To look towards God and to move forward.  Joseph would have known these words.

Isaiah 26:3
Like Joseph, the shepherds, and the Magi, we can be prepared.  Isaiah says that we  will have perfect peace if we  “Stay” (or lean or take hold of) the Lord. The Hebrew word conveys the meaning of clinging to God.

Emmanuel
Isaiah also foretold that Emmanuel will come…  God Is with us.  Joseph remembered this promise.  We too  can drive away the blues  by remembering that God is with us.  Embrace the promise.  Be prepared.  We don’t face things alone, because God really does care about us.

GF Handel
Earlier in  the week, the Gloucester County Community Choir presented Handel’s “Messiah.” But this enduring masterpiece nearly went unwritten.  Handel, working in his own strength, ran  into a wall during this project.  He was down in the blues and  almost gave up.  But he knew the scriptures.  He heard God’s word, received His encouragement, was uplifted and created his  inspired (literally) work.

Elvis sang, “I’ll be so blue just thinking about you.”  But The Bible  teaches us (and Joseph shows us) that we can chase away the blues by thinking- pondering, studying, praying- about God’s wonderful gift.

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