This month at South Side we are going through a series entitled “Christmas Isn’t Cancelled.” 2020 has been a year of “cancellations.” There are so many things right now in our society that are either cancelled or don’t come close to looking the same. I know 2020 has been hard on us all. I continue to pray for our health care workers and all those who are so impacted by Covid-19. Particularly, it has been a difficult dark year for the entire world, and for people experiencing so many things that were totally unplanned. Life is filled with things that happen that are “unplanned.” Maybe right now you are feeling overwhelmed as you deal with the “unplanned” things of 2020.
In the Gospel of Matthew 1:18-21 we read “18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered 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 home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 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.”
There is no doubt that Joseph’s plans were interrupted. As a matter of fact, everything that Joseph had planned was interrupted. His wife was suddenly pregnant, and the baby didn’t belong to him. Joseph’s plan for a great wedding was suddenly interrupted. Joseph knew that how he and Mary would be viewed by their friends and family if they found out would be interrupted. However, Joseph being a good godly man decided to deal with this interruption by going through with the wedding so as not to embarrass Mary or even yet have her stoned which was the custom of that time. He could have easily “quit” when his plans were interrupted but God sent him a message in a dream in a dream as we see later in this chapter that explained the situation. We read that when Joseph “woke up” his understanding and choices changed.
Mary and Joseph were having an unplanned pregnancy. Their lives were both interrupted. However, I want you to notice they kept the child. You see this is important because if they didn’t keep the Child Christmas would be cancelled! If they didn’t keep the baby humanity would never have experienced the miracles of the New Testament! If they didn’t keep the baby the 12 apostles would have remained ordinary, Saul would have been known as nothing more than an exceptional Pharisee (Galatians 1:14), the paralytic would never have got up off of his mat (Matthew 9:1-8), the demon possessed man in the region of Gerasenes would have been doomed to room amongst the tombs and cut himself or the rest of his life (Mark 5:1-20), the man born blind would never have seen the beauty of creation (John 9:1-12), the 10 lepers would never have been cleansed and allowed to return to their families (Luke 17:11-19), the 38 year old crippled man would have spent the rest of his life merely looking at the pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-15), and Lazarus and Jairus’ Daughter would not have been raised from the dead (John 11:38-44; Mark 5:21-43)!
2020 has been a year of interruptions, but let me ask you how are you spiritually dealing with the interruptions? What if God is using the interruptions to bring you something more valuable than you can ever imagine? What if there is a great purpose in this process? What if the struggle of being stressed is about to turn into you being blessed? This Sunday at South Side we will continue our series entitled “Christmas Is Not Cancelled.”
We will look deeper into this chapter and how God uses interruptions in our lives. Worship begins at 10:15, and our Children’s Ministry offers children’s classes for all ages. We also now offer a “Church Drive-Thru” for communion, prayer, and encouragement from 10:30-11:00. Please know we are continuing to practice social distancing at our services. If you are unable to attend our online services will be available at 3:00 on Facebook and on our website. If you would like to give generously text: 84321 then the word “help” and follow the simple instructions. We would love to have your family worship with us! For more information about us please visit us on our website at: www.southsidewch.com or on Facebook.
South Side Church of Christ