Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. – Matthew 1:18

Are you ready for Christmas?

How many times have you already answered this question? Honestly, if I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked, I’m certain I’d have enough to cover your Christmas budget and mine. But hey, there’s no harm in asking, right? It’s become a very versatile phrase. It can be used as a greeting, a conversation starter, and even as a conversation extender. As I think about it, I can’t recall a time I’ve ever answered the question with a simple yes or no. For some reason we all feel obligated to elaborate on our answer. It’s like we’ve just got to explain why we’re not ready, or how we started early this year and knocked it out, or my favorite, how all we have left to do is buy for our spouse. So, how about it? Are you ready for Christmas?

Alright, now having considered the question from all these angles, imagine asking it to Joseph after reading the verse above. This week we are going to contemplate what it was like for Joseph to “get ready for Christmas.” When they received the promise of Christmas, it came with a lot of complications. There was no way to start early, plenty of reasons to not be ready, and a lot of care to give to his spouse. The reality is, ushering in the promise of the first Christmas required a tremendous amount of faith. It required faith to believe the promise then just as it takes faith to believe it now. This Sunday, Joseph and Mary are going to help us get ready for Christmas through their example of radical dependence on God.
Speaking of getting ready, we’d love for you to listen to the worship set (especially the new song ‘Born That We May Have Life’) and read our passage, Matthew 1:18-25. As you read, try to place yourself in Joseph’s shoes and answer the question, “Are you ready for Christmas?”
Hope you’re “ready” for Sunday. See you then!

Jerry Lingenfelter
Senior Pastor