Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “”Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.“” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “”Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,”” which means, “”God is with us.“” When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son, and he named him Jesus. [Matthew 1:18-25]
The Christmas story is an experience with DELIVERY.
- Fedex plans to deliver 317 million packages this shopping season, Black Friday to Christmas Eve.
- UPS plans to deliver 700 million packages this shopping season.
- USPS plans to deliver 750 million packages
God promises deliveries, too!
- God delivers on the promise to live with us.
- God delivers on the promise to claim and give us eternal life.
- God delivers on the promise to use us, you and me, to deliver and forward God’s gifts.
The postal carrier’s “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” – while by no means an official creed or motto of the United States Postal Service – have long been associated with the American postman. The motto is inscribed on New York’s James Farley Post Office, but it has no official status.
The different in the two is the first and last word, with the last words being significantly different: these are stayed neither by snow nor rain nor heat nor darkness from accomplishing their appointed course with all speed.
Rekindling the spiritual power of Christmas is found in picking up the job of postal carrier, delivery person, one who is delivered, sharing Christ with those who have not, or have forgotten or have lost their way.
What keeps us from Delivery of the Good News?
- God did not wait for Mary and Joseph to work out all the social, economical and family systems issues before delivering the news that God was choosing them for witness and service.
- God did not wait for Mary and Joseph to begin parenting in their hometown, surrounded by family and friends to help raise and train up their child in the way they should grow.
- God did not wait for the politics to be peaceful and safe to show up for us.
- God did not wait for penthouse hotel accommodations, God did not wait for a
- God did not wait for a convenient, simple time, God delivers into the middle of the mess.
Where do we find things in a mess?
- Poverty and Politics
- Families and Freedoms
- Drugs and Debts
- Religion and Racism
- Churches and Checkout lines
We find lives broken, messed up, tested and stretched everywhere!
- Don’t be afraid, God is with us.
- Didn’t stop the doubt
- Didn’t stop the evil
- Didn’t stop the humility and struggle of the birth
- Didn’t promise to show up at midday at the palace rather now. A stable in the dark of night
God’s continues to deliver on promises for us..
- God didn’t stop fear, nor doubt, no evil nor struggle nor darkness nor troubles, Christmas is about keeping close, continuing to reveal, share, tell
- God delivers on crying out where we suffer
- God delivers on shining as an alternative in darkness
- God delivers by calling those willing to Go, See and Tell to share Good News for a searching and hurting world.Christmas is about keeping close, continuing to reveal, share, tell
- God delivers signs that inspire those who are wise. Those who see Jesus as a gift, are wise enough to reply with sharing the gifts that they have.
This is our model, our cue, our response:
- God delivers God’s promises, God’s self, God’s strength, God’s light, God’s glory
- God delivers Grace, Forgiveness, Hope, Love, Restoration of Trust,
- And you and I are the recipients, the winners, the benefactors, the gifted. (Tell your neighbor, “You are Gifted”
God’s Back Bumper has a sticker that reads: “All my Children are Gifted”
Picture Holding God’s Hand: Why is it a comfort to hold you parents hand as a toddler, an embarrassment as a teen and, and a lost opportunity as an empty nest parent ourselves?
- Remember a time you were trying something new, confronting someone difficult or when we are in a dark time of grief, illness or loss? What does it mean to have someone be preset with you? Maybe they are silent, but they bring their strength to yours.
- When you and I were born, the very first thing we needed to do is breathe, to fill our lungs, not with with something parents provide but something God has made before any of us could breathe.
- God breathed on the face of the earth and gave us breath to be present before we’re came to be delivered, God had already delivered just what we needed
- Before we imagined, discovered and formed notions that we no longer needed a God, God delivered us with minds, emotions storage for Growth and maturity,
- God ordered mathematics and physicist so that we can benefit from the, before we even understood how these constants work
Reclaiming Christmas is about reclaiming the comfort and joy that God is with us. God was before us and God will be with and for us long after these bodies wear thin.
A practical way of reclaiming Christmas is to become a vessel, an instrument, a channel, a highway or portal for God to keep shoeing the work that the promise to continue with us is still true.
This Advent season, we have shared how reclaiming our Christmas Traditions if they help us proclaim Jesus Christ with us. We talked about that even a Christmas card can become the physical and spiritual manifestation of Christ connecting us.
reclaiming our Christmas Traditions if they help us proclaim Jesus Christ with us. We talked about that even a Christmas card can become the physical and spiritual manifestation of Christ connecting us.
We talked about that even a Christmas card can become the physical and spiritual manifestation of Christ connecting us.
We suggested making intentional lists that force us to connect the dots between what we know about Christ and how we share Christ in our lives.
Today, I add, that there is a final step. Making the delivery of Christ. We can sing about Jesus, Read about Jesus, Give and Recieve in Jesus, But there is a core thing that you and I are called to do: Go Postal! Be the one who brings Jesus to the doorstep. That offers the gift and places Christ in the hands of the