Maybe you heard the story of Joseph in Sunday School or saw Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musical with Donnie Osmond, JOSEPH & THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT. Joseph was a man of extraordinary character and incredible discipline. Hated by his brothers; they sold Joseph into slavery, he was treated unjustly but always seemed to show others grace through it all. He saves his family, saves Pharaoh, he saves Egypt, he even saves the Egyptians! There are so many parallels between Joseph and Jesus.
“I want to remind you of how it’s always been, that God throughout history has chosen the broken people, people with a past, people with secrets, people who have created disappointments in others.”Bill BorlandGod looks down and picks his brother Judah, an unlikely candidate, to be included in the genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1:1-2). What? If we had the choice, we would have chosen Joseph over Judah. Judah was the brother that came up with the idea of selling Joseph into slavery (Genesis 37:26) and concocted a story of his death by wild animals. Then took that story to their father and broke his heart, and then to their mother and broke her heart. Judah and his brothers lived on, pretending to grieve with their father and mother at the loss of Joseph.
On top of that Judah attempts to burn his daughter-in-law, Tamar, alive at the stake because she got pregnant out of wedlock. Only to find out it was he that got her pregnant when she disguised herself as a prostitute! She gives birth to twins which the firstborn is named Perez…also in the genealogy of Jesus!
So Matthew sets out this Christmas story, and how does he begin? He says before we get to the Jesus part, I want to remind you of how it’s always been, that God throughout history has chosen the broken people, people with a past, people with secrets, people who have created disappointments in others.
So here is the question. Is there something in your life that is holding you back from accepting the gift of mercy and grace that God is holding out to you? Some secret that you have, something that you did and believe can’t be fixed, something that you think will never allow you to have peace with God? Something you can’t forgive yourself for?
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.John 3:16-17 NLT
Know this, that God has leaned into you even though you may have leaned away. He is drawing nearer to you even though you allow your past to draw you away from him.
Here is the amazing news. It’s Christmas and whether you’ve been naughty or nice, the gift of forgiveness, the gift of life, and eternal life is available to you, to me and the world through belief in Jesus Christ our Lord.
If you missed Sundays message check it out here.
Receiving Gods free gift thru Jesus with you!
December 4, 2017
New Community is a North Point Strategic Partner the originator of the “Unexpected” message series used by permission.