2nd Sunday of Advent, Activity of the Waiting Season

Luke 1
  /  December 10, 2023
Speaker: Jonathon Slagenweit

I’m going to invite you to turn with me to Luke’s gospel, chapter 1.

She says, Gabriel, there’s this is It’s impossible for me to carry a child. I’m I’ve never known a man. I’m gonna of Mary’s experience with Gabriel. And then we’re going to drop down a few more verses and we’re going to pick up Mary’s song of praise Lord. Look at Luke’s gospel chapter 1.

We’re going to begin reading in verse 26. And in the 6th month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into the city of Galilee named Nazareth man whose name was Joseph of the House of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. The angel came in unto her and said, hail thou that art highly favored. The Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou among women. Be The angel said unto her, fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favor with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a shall call his name J. R. He shall be great and shall be called the son of the highest and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father, re and of his kingdom, there shall be no end.

Then Sid Marion to the angel, how shall this be, seeing I know not a man. And the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father, David. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forre and of his kingdom, there shall be no end. Then Sid Marion to the angel. How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

And man? And the angel answered and said unto her, the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the highest shall overshadow thee. Be because in Elizabeth, own. And this is the 6 month with nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, behold the handmade of the And And Mary said, my soul doth magnify the Lord and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my savior, For he hath regarded the lowest state of his handmaiden.

For behold, from henceforth, all generations shall call me blessed. And his And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath showed strength with his arm. He hath scattered the proud and the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats and exalted them of low degree.

He hath filled the hungry with good things and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath he hath hoping his servant Israel in remembrance of his mercy as he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed forever, and Mary abode with her rejoice in the fact that there is nothing that is impossible with God. Are looking at circumstances in their life and saying there is no hope for this situation. We rejoice this morning that with you, all things are possible. I ask this morning that in these next few moments that you would help us as we consider what you want us to do in the periods of time in our lives where we are left to wait with anticipation.

I pray that you would speak truth to our hearts from your word. We ask in Christ’s name. Amen. You may be seated. Last week, I preached to us beginning this series, regarding silently we wait or the world waits.

We silently we wait or the world waits. We talked about waiting patiently for the Lord to work. To you that I was preaching to myself more than I was preaching to anybody else when I preach on the subject of patience or waiting patiently. I think you all probably know that that is not one of my strong virtues in life is waiting. When I was a teenager, I used to listen to some country music and there was there was a song that I used to listen to and loved.

I’m in a hurry to get things done. I rush and rush until life’s no fun. All I’ve got to do is live and die, but I’m in a hurry and don’t know why. But I’m in a hurry and don’t know why. Not a great spiritual song for you on Sunday morning.

There’s a lot of truth to the I find myself, RUSH, a a couple weeks ago, right on the bumper of somebody on 178, who saw me coming and deliberately pulled out in front of me. And they didn’t know what the gas pedal was. You know those cattle catchers on the front of a, of a train In a know, there are times in in know what I’m talking about? You know, there are times in in life that we find ourselves in situations that we just we wanna push our way through. We want to we don’t want to be patient.

We want to we want to move things through. And yet, there are times I think the Lord, not I think, I know, the Lord deliberately shared with us as a congregation, I shared with us as a congregation back in the summer, preached a message on the importance of rest. You. There was one particular day I was on the phone with Sister Parker, Charlotte Parker, and there was some sickness going around in the church and she said, pastor, I just want you to know I’m praying that the Lord will keep you from sickness. I’m leaving it in the Lord’s hands.

If, if he sees that I need to slow. I guess he’ll let me get sick. You know, there are I guess he’ll let me get sick. You know, there are times that the Lord will purposefully allow things to happen in our lives that just put the brakes on and cause us to slow down. Sometimes we’re called to wait.

Our text this morning reminds us that waiting demands occupation. Waiting demands activity. In the process of our waiting, we do something, don’t we? The danger is, is that oftentimes we waste our waiting periods. Maybe I could give you an example of that.

When you go to the doctor’s office and you sign in, you go and take a seat. And when the doctor has already seen 4 patients before you and each patient took an additional 5 minutes extra, and all of a sudden, your appointment is pushed back. What do you do? Some of you pull out your cell phone and you start scrolling through Facebook. Maybe you do more than scroll through Facebook.

Maybe you post on Facebook what a shame it is that you’re stuck waiting. Ouch. Where you pick up a magazine, We, we all do something in the way. Maybe you clip your fingernails or worse, you bite your nails because you’re annoyed. We’re occupied with And yet in that process of waiting, we all are doing something.

We’re occupied with ‘d some lessons that I see that we’d learned about what we should do in our seasons of waiting. We know very, very little about Mary’s background, very little about her family, very little about, where she’s nature. But we know very little about You read secular city of Nazareth. You go back to the Old Testament. Anybody ever read about the city of Nazareth in the Old Testament?

Ever read about the city of Nazareth in the Old Testament? Anybody In fact, you you read in the New Testament and you don’t read a whole lot of details about it. Cities. Nazareth is not mentioned. It’s an uncelebrated forgotten city by and large.

It was a place that was off the beaten path. It was a place that, is is not memorable in any way because if Again, I mentioned that secular history tells us very little. You read even secular history. And there’s not much about Nazareth that is really known. We know very little about Mary, who’s from Nazareth.

You to take notice just for a moment this morning. Mary comes from a place, if you will, on the other side of the When you hear about Nazareth, you find Nathaniel. Canadian come out of Nazareth. It was known as as a what would seem like an obscure family, more than likely just a working class family. There was nothing special about her that really seemingly draw any particular attention to her to be a potential candidate to carry the masai.

I tell you all of that this morning for the purpose that as we evaluate the Christmas story, here’s a young woman who comes from an obscure town, a town on the other side of the tracks, whose world was completely turned upside down that first Christmas. Stories stories about a star that announced the birth of her child. But we don’t often stop and really consider life of Mary. I want you to notice a couple of things as we explore the activity of the waiting season. The The first is the inconvenience of waiting.

I want you to notice, first of all, Mary is just a young woman, more than likely just a teenage girl. More than likely, just a teenage girl. She’s not she’s not in any way, a woman who is, been around, has a husband, has experienced much of life. She’s just a young teenage girl. It may not carry a whole lot of weight with us today as much as it did in 1st century Palestine.

But I want you to consider the fact that here’s this woman who comes from or this girl who comes from an obscure family in an obscure place that I just say to our young people and our children this morning, your age is not a reason for which God would not desire to use you for his glory. Amen? God looked at a young woman and said, this is the one through whom I’m gonna allow the Messiah, the one who will bless the world to come through. Young people, God looks at your life and says, you have great value and purpose. Sure, you may look at your life and and you’re waiting, aren’t you?

Let me just talk to our young people and and children for a moment. I’ve heard some talk about it waiting until they can get it. There are x amount of more sleeps until Christmas. I’ve heard some talk about it waiting until they can get it. They’re not going to be waiting for Christmas.

I know that because I’ve heard it. There are x amount of more sleeps until Christmas. I’ve heard some talk about it waiting until they can get their driver’s license, waiting until they can go to college, waiting until they can get married. You know, in the middle of your waiting season of life, God has purpose for you even now. Maersities, not only is she just a young woman, but she’s betrothed, not yet married in the fullest sense.

Would have They would have looked at a woman who is betrothed. If we can put it in modern terms, we all understand she’s basically engaged. And here she is now, pregnant. Mary is setting aside all of her future that lies ahead for for the purpose of fulfilling God’s call in her life. Imagine that.

She accepts the responsibility to carry the Messiah. She knows good and well what this could mean. Angel of the Lord came and spoke to you. -Yeah, Mary. Sure.

Sure. An angel of the Lord came and spoke to you. -An angel of the Lord came and spoke to you. -Yeah, Mary. -Yeah.

-And an angel of the Lord came and spoke to you. Good excuse, but not gonna work. Fact, Matthew records that that’s exactly what Joseph intended to do. Joseph doesn’t believe her account, obviously, because he seeks to put her away, private. Waiting period.

A waiting period, an inconvenience in that process. Here she is, risking her reputation. What will the townspeople say? The townspeople probably responded the same way that Joseph then, Not only that, but she had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem while pregnant. The throes of pregnancy?

Any ladies volunteer in this story? Now, some of you, when you’re near birth and you want the baby to come, you might would do that just to make sure the baby comes. That was not Mary’s in It was a great inconvenience for Caesar to or a census to be taken that would require all of those in Israel to go to their to their home, where their family was from. Bethlehem was David’s home. That’s why Mary and Joseph made their way to Bethlehem.

I want you to this is a sideline note. I want you to consider a divorcee in the old testament had said that, you know, this is a sideline note. I want you to consider a death Then he sends Gabriel to a woman in Nazareth, 80 to 90 miles from Bethlehem and says, you are going to give birth to the Messiah. But he’s got to get her from Bethlehem or from Nazareth to Bethlehem. So what does he do?

He has Caesar to apply for a census and taxation that would send Mary and Joseph from their home and Nazareth all the way back to the city of David. And is oftentimes the times that God is working behind the scenes to accomplish his glory. Value whatsoever. Why Why do I have to pack up in the middle of pregnancy and go all the way from Nazareth to Bethlehem just to pay taxes, just for the census? Just for the census.

And by the way, you don’t send Rome a note that says, we’ll take a rain check. Can we, can we send this in by a vote absentee ballot? No, it wasn’t an option. Goal. Are times that God’s pathway in your life and in my life will take detours, won’t it?

Passing of a loved one unexpectedly and all of a sudden we’re left alone by ourselves. There’s loss of job that occurs and all of a sudden, we’re left alone by ourselves. There’s loss of job that occurs and all of a sudden the inconvenience is an opportunity for God’s glory to be manifest. A and We look at childbirth from modern We look at childbirth from modern standpoint and all of the conveniences. You go to the hospital where you get your own suite.

I just had the opportunity. I look bad back Jonathan’s. You all need to hook up with Jonathan and Rachel if you’re if you’re going to have. I went in to visit them and I got to the end of the hall and they had a 2 room I mean, they had their own little a whole room that was just a seating area. Listen, it wasn’t the convenience of That wasn’t the convenience of Mary.

Mary ended up in a stable where animals were housed. Mary ended up in a place where there was no family. Mary’s with a betrothed husband who she has never known in an intimate way. There’s no there’s no luxuries of modern and modern conveniences in birth. In fact, in Mary’s day, the death rate was was up there, was higher in the birth process.

An inconvenience This what you think is going to be a routine checkup turns into, hey, we we’d like to go to the doctor. And what you think is going to be a routine checkup turns into, hey, we would like you to come back for another test. All right? That happens. You go back for a second test and they say, now, we’re concerned enough.

We want you to come back for a biopsy. And then all of a sudden, the biopsy takes place and you have that waiting period. And you begin to ask yourself, be? Is it going to be good news or is it going to be bad? What do we do in those waiting periods, the inconvenient times of life?

You know, what seems to be inconveniences for us, for you, is really an opportunity for God to be glorified in your life. Because in that waiting period of life that you and I are doing something, we’re engaged in some form of activity. The waiting process isn’t isn’t for our convenience or our comfort. But it’s meant for our good and the glory of just suggest to us this morning, the the standard We’re all gonna, we’re all gonna have to wait for things in We experience it everyday, is shaping is shaping the person that you are becoming and giving great demonstration of who. Think about it from an earthly perspective.

What do you do while you’re waiting? A lot of times while we’re waiting, we’re finding something to occupy our mind or our attention, aren’t we? I’ll just confess. I’ve been known and guilty of when I come to a stop, right, rather than waste the time sitting there, I’ll pull out my phone. And you so much for years ago showing me a roundabout way.

That has been such a I don’t even care if I have to drive longer as long as I don’t have to sit. I just don’t want to. What do we do in the waiting period? We scroll. We situation.

Will Joseph say? Happen in this birth? What if it means my life? Well, Joseph understand, well, Joseph understand, store. And, and, and, and, of a trial in your life and you’re looking around and saying, And yet, the Lord is in the process of doing greater things in our lives.

Those ways that you and I deal with the periods of time, God is working out as master plan in our lives. And when those things creep up, our fear can reveal to us our lack of faith in God’s goodness, our fear can reveal to us our lack of faith in God’s goodness, our our doubt can become an anxiety, can reveal to us our lack of belief in God’s striven, our trying to manipulate the situations around us, reveal to us, our lack of faith in God’s ability. Our doubt, and the promises of God reveals our lack of faith in the word of God to be sufficient for our lives. Ramps that you and I take, the activities that we turn to in those waiting seasons. But I want you to notice with me very quickly.

Our time is is running out. Let me let me just show to you 2 activities that Mary engages in in the waiting season of her life. First is obedience. Obedience. What do you do in the waiting season of life?

Mary obeys the Lord. Messiah. You it’ll be through you that the world is going to be blessed. And Mary said, wow. It seems impossible with man accepts between faith and obedience is unmistakable.

I get weary in a world where there’s a lot of this, well, that’s just legalism, that’s legalism, that’s legalism. All these you gotta do, you gotta do, you gotta That’s just legalism. This this whole idea that people that just want to say I have faith, James says, I will show you my faith by my works. Of what we do. And word.

But I’ve never really stopped and contemplated the indigdoras of the word, being not heres of the word only, but doers also, deceiving your and Because for instance, your desire, Aloe, for instance, your desire, Aloe, for instance, what the Lord has asked of her. Here’s the second thing that I want you to notice. Mary worships in her, where she worships in her. Mary worships in her, Mary breaks out into song of of worship to the Lord as she considers what the Lord has done for a lot of you just have taken time to stop in the middle of the trials and the difficulties and the waiting periods of life and said, in my in my waiting, I will worship. I will choose to exalt the bravery finds great joy in the midst of this inconvenience of her life, where her world is totally turned up.

So risking her reputation, her life, she’s risking her. But she says, God is worthy to be praised. He’s found me worthy to carry the masaiah. How many times do we look at the inconveniences of life in those periods where the Lord has just put the brakes on in our life, and all of a sudden, we’re behind a slow driver on 170. It isn’t This isn’t comfortable for me.

This worthy of praise. You are doing something far greater than what I can see. And I praise you. And I praise you. And I praise you.

And I praise you. And I praise you. And it begins to worship the cross, the inconvenience of the cross, and found great joy because of what it produces for us. How to do that in the waiting periods of life. Not a matter of us trying to muster up hearts.

But it’s a matter of us coming to the Lord and say, Lord, I don’t understand it all. I don’t get it all. But I do know that you’re good and you’re working out your good will in my life and you’re working out your and you’re working out your goodwill in my life and you’re working your glory through me. And so, father, give me a hard of praise. Lift you up in this season of my life.

So morning. We’re all waiting on we’re all in the season of waiting in some waiting for the test for the test raisait wait to come in, waiting for What are we doing in the middle of waiting? Through gripe and try to find ways to draw the help of the holy spirit. God wants to help us in the middle of that weight to just obey him and worship because of what he’s do. And I say, Lord, breathe fresh faith upon us to trust you in the middle of that.

Faith upon us to trust you in the middle of that waiting is not idle. It’s not empty. God accomplishes much in the waiting. Lord, help us this morning Lord, help us this morning to make great use of the opportunities of our weight. Let’s stand together as we close and pray.

Let’s stand together as we close and pray. Father, this morning, our hearts are rejoicing in you to know and and often times that comes through our seasons of weight. As we’ve looked at the life of Mary this morning, our hearts are challenged to worship you and to obey you in the middle of inconveniences of life in those seasons where we wait upon. Way they want them to go. And there’s a process of you working your will out in their lives that seems uncomfortable.

To wait upon you. Would you teach us to grow in faith? Would you teach us to worship you in obeyed a our faith, strengthen our faith, use these as that would turn our gaze towards and your Amen. The Lord bless you. You are dismissed.

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