I’m preaching this weekend at Bethel-Brentwood 8:15, 10:00 and 11:45 Sunday services. Final message in the “Mary’s Christmas” series. For 3 weeks we’ve looked at the birth of Christ through the eyes of Mary. See below:

Week 1 – Luke 1:26-29 – “Life Interrupted” – me
Week 2 – Luke 1:30-33 – “Favor Ain’t Fair” – James Lowe
Week 3 – Luke 1:34-38 – “Let It Be” – Rice Broocks
Week 4 – Luke 2:8-16 – “Good News!” – me

Here’s a sneak preview of week 4…

– Pre-sermon song – Bethel choir singing the soon-to-be Christmas classic, A Baby Changes Everything

(Song is all about faith in Jesus. Vid is all about Faith Hill)

– After that song, mssg will start with this story

– Sometimes we hear everything at church, except THE GOOD NEWS.
We
end up hearing about moral standards, purpose, destiny, relationships,
theology, politics, Bible characters, but unfortunately, we rarely hear
the Gospel.

Sometimes it is hard to hear the GOOD NEWS, b/c of so many other good messages.
Church
people can get distracted by lots of good stuff like helping the poor,
justice issues, life groups, Bible studies, prayer meetings, choir
practice, community service… We can get so involved in church stuff,
that we dont have time for God. The goal is a Christ-centered life, not
a church-centered life.

– Sometimes GOOD NEWS is not what we expected.
For
many years, the Jews  were expecting good news of a powerful and
glorious Messiah who would deliver them from Roman oppression. Instead
they found an unimpressive, insignificant, uneducated poor family in a
podunk town. No might. No money. No power. No position. No glory. Not
exactly what they thought of as good news.

– Sometimes GOOD NEWS does not look impressive.
When
they went to see their new king, they found a baby. They figured a king
would be in a palace, but He was in a barn. They imagined royalty, they
found poverty. Not the kind of good news their grandparents told them
about.

– Sometimes the GOOD NEWS take a long time.
It
would be 30 years before that baby even remotely resembled a Messiah,
and even then they were disappointed. God might answer right now, and
we might not realize He answered until many years later.  That is hard
for people like us who are used to drive through miracles and microwave
faith.

Lots more to say, but you cannot bear it now. Hope to
see you Sunday. Pray for me as i attempt to pinpoint exactly what i
need to say and what not to say Sunday.

***same post on accidental missionary site today***