The Son's Arrival in a Dark Day!
INTRO: Most people just love the Christmas story, their houses are decorated with beautiful pastoral pictures of manger scenes and happy looking Shepherds looking peacefully over the baby Jesus with a smiling Mary and Joseph standing nearby and the warmth of a few innocent looking lambs nearby.
WHAT! ... this is hardly the real picture of that first Christmas! Here is the real conditions of the day:
a. Big government was making huge new taxes ... this was the reason for Joseph and Mary having to travel to Bethlehem in the first place, to register for the new round of taxes coming!
b. Divorce rates were high, abortion was a serious problem and common, this created pressure for Joseph to have Mary get an abortion since they weren't married!
c. The middle class was losing buying power, debt was a serious problem for the average home owner!
d. Crime rates were high, jails were full.
e. Tensions in the Middle East kept the whole world on edge!
f. Most people had lost hope and faith in God, to most religion was nothing more than a waste of time, worship services were mechanical and without much meaning.
g. No one had confidence in their political leaders.
Some things never change!!! It is in this climate that God decides the time is right to make a major announcement - "To you this day is born a Savior"
PROP. SENT: If we fail to see God's plan to save us in the baby Jesus we will fail to understand what Christmas is all about!
I. A DARK TIME REQUIRES A BRIGHT LIGHT Luke 2:1-8
A. Grand Mess! Luke 2:1-7
1. Everything that could go wrong went wrong ...
a. Mary wasn't married but pregnant!
b. Though 9 months pregnant they would have to travel, and this was dangerous by mule this far into the pregnancy!
c. Though already extremely poor, they would have to register for new taxes!
d. There was no room at any Inn for them!
e. No one believed the story of Mary being ...
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