a message to ponder
The story of the birth of Christ is recorded in both Matthew and Luke. Both stories are beautiful in their own right, but recently the passage in Matthew (1:18-24) has especially caught my attention. I would invite you to grab your Bible and read this story once again. As you do, please notice how the message unfolds with key words, each of which begin with the letter P:...
Pledged, (vs. 18a): Mary, the mother of Jesus was pledged to be married to Joseph. This was of greater significance than what we think of today as being engaged. A betrothal was a binding agreement and entered into with great seriousness.
Pregnant, (vs. 18b): But before Mary and Joseph had "come together" (had sexual relations) she was found to be pregnant with child. This of course became a...
Public disgrace, (vs. 19): Joseph was a righteous man and didn't want to expose her to public disgrace, so he decided the only thing he could do would be to divorce her quietly. But there was a divine intervention; it came in the form of the...
Proclamation of the angel, (vs. 20): An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit." And with this announcement came a wonderful...
Promise, (vs. 21): "She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." In fact, this great promise would be a...
Prophetic fulfillment, (vs. 22-23): "all this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 'The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel' which means, God with us." With this great announcement and promise, Joseph decided he would..
Practice his faith, (vs. 24-25): When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
This indeed is a wonderful story. But, what does all of this mean for us? I believe that it is something for us to...
Ponder: During this Advent season I hope that we all will ponder, reflect, and meditate on this marvelous story which reveals God's amazing work and love for each of us. It is a story that describes an historical event that took place so long ago. But it is also a story that is intended to be very...
Personal: This is a story of God's personal love for each one of us! God bless and Merry Christmas!
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Dr. Allen Schneider is a United Methodist pastor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist presently serving the Sapulpa and greater Tulsa communities.