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When Christmas Plans Get Messed Up (3 of 4)
Message Truth: Hope is based on our belief in the person who made the promise that gives rise to our expectation.
(Mat 1:18-25 The Message) The birth of Jesus took place like this. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. Before they came to the marriage bed, Joseph discovered she was pregnant. (It was by the Holy Spirit, but he didn't know that.) Joseph, chagrined but noble, determined to take care of things quietly so Mary would not be disgraced. While he was trying to figure a way out, he had a dream. God's angel spoke in the dream: "Joseph, son of David, don't hesitate to get married. Mary's pregnancy is Sprit- conceived. God's Holy Spirit has made her pregnant. She will bring a son to birth, and when she does, you, Joseph, will name him Jesus - 'God saves' - because he will save his people from their sins." This would bring the prophet's embryonic sermon to full term: "Watch for this - a virgin will get pregnant and bear a son; They will name him Emmanuel" (Hebrew for "God is with us"). Then Joseph woke up. He did exactly what God's angel commanded in the dream: He married Mary. But he did not consummate the marriage until she had the baby. He named the baby Jesus.
Introduction: In just a few days we will experience Christmas once again. It will be filled with all kinds of events, emotions, and expectations. Sometimes the plans we make for Christmas do not always work out exactly as we expect.
Have you ever made plans for Christmas that just didn't work out? Maybe it was a special meal that you worked hard to prepare that never tasted just right. Or maybe your travel plans really got messed up and you arrived at your intended destination several hours late or you were unable to make it at all. Perhaps the perfect gift turned out to be not so perfect after all. Just in case that happens to you here is a simple and gracious way to mask ...
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