Matthew 1:18 "This is how the birth of Jesus came about"
Much of what we do is based on stories. Much of what we hear and what we see are stories.
Stories tell messages. Based on particular people, set at a particular time, at a particular place. And our lives are based on these stories. They make sense of our lives and our world. We are collections, safe deposits of stories.
Our lives are based on a few stories that we tell. Some of them are good and some are not. We tell ourselves we're no good, we'll never make it. And we say this type of negative story about others. We limit other people to the stories we tell about them. These stories define our lives. What stories have you been telling?
Growing up I ran home everyday, and would be met at the kitchen table with a tunafish sandwich, celery, and some apple juice. There my babysitter would demand my absolute silence as she watch her "stories." For 2 hours the stories were told. As the World Turns. Guiding light. Days of Our lives.
Movies and television. They tell false stories. They're not true. They're soap operas, dramas. They take us to imaginary places with imaginary people.
We feel pain when we try to make real life look like the imaginary. We try to look and dress and act like imaginary people. We change our bodies to reflect those imaginary TV bodies. We get implants. Surgery. Face lifts.
These false stories are all over. On TV. In our books and in our music.
Beyonce has a song, Irreplaceable. "To the left to the left. Everything in you own in a box to the left." She's singing about this trifling man who did her wrong. He's replaceable. She can find another one like him in a minute. This song is not true. Its a story. Beyonce is married and pregnant. She's not living the lyrics of this song.
But we on the other hand chose replaceable men. And disposable women. Who have no substance. No significance, continuing on cycles of nothingness. Not married with children but bitter and alone.
Our children are living out destructive lyrics. Rappers record about violence in studios and our children live out violence in the streets. They are dying. Killing themselves based on imaginary lyrics.
We are surrounded with stories that are wrong. Not true. False. But this christmas story is all about the truth. For it tells about Jesus. And we know "Jesus is the way the truth and the life." The Christmas story is all about Jesus. Thats why is true. And real.
The story sounds imaginary. Mary became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Unbelievable. If it wasn't for Jesus. With Jesus the unbelievable becomes believable. The impossible becomes possible. God does what no one else can do.
Has God done anything impossible for you? Has God opened doors you thought would never open? Has He healed you when everyone else gave up?
God does the impossible. In my life and your life. That's Christmas.
Out of nowhere. God picks Mary and we see the impossible.
God worked in Mary to create life where there was no life. He doesn't need anything to make something. God did it at creation and God did it at Christmas. God takes what is not and makes what He wants. God calls us when we are nothing. When we feel empty and lifeless and worthless. God takes us. And turns us into what He wants us to be.
God doesn't need anything to bless us. God takes us. With nothing. Empty. Barren. And gives us life. And meaning. And purpose.
Christmas tells the story of a family who stayed together. God tells Joseph not to run, not to flee, "don't leave Mary!". God turned Joseph from fleeing into a father. Brothers we must stop leaving our sisters. Stop leaving Mary. Don't leave Mary to raise the baby by herself. That's the Christmas story.
Poor. Struggling. You've seen it. I've seen it. God kept us together. Families who had nothing but love. That's Christmas.
Joseph said yes to God, and lived up to his purpose. We often live beneath what God has destined for us. Many of us never live up to our full greatness. Because we tell God "No". What if we said yes? Instead of hiding and running from God. Say yes to God.
This christmas. What would you do, how would you live, if, you said yes to God?
God does the impossible. With us, For us and Through us. God does it for me and for you. God does it because He believes in us.
We lie to God. But God believes in us. We break our promises. We tell Him we won't, but we do. We say we will, but we don't. "God I'll never do it again". But we do. "I'll never cheat again." "Won't call him again." But we do. And God believes us. Time after time. God treats us like we have never lied. If God believes in us, we can believe in God
God gave us this Christmas story. That Jesus lives. Christ Jesus lives today. He walks with me. He talks with me. Along life's narrow ways. I've seen it. Not in a movie. Not on the radio. Not on TV. But in my own life, Jesus lives. So this Christmas, know that Jesus is real, and true. Thank God. Thank God for this great story!