Series A, Fourth Sunday in Advent
Text: Matthew 1:18-25,
Theme: How difficult it is for us to adore humbly at the feet of our Savior.
We learn from Joseph the meaning of Submissive Adoration.
I. WE PREFER NOT TO KNEEL IN ADORATION TO ANYONE OR ANYTHING BUT OURSELVES.
A. To adore someone/thing other than ourselves, is to claim
that someone/thing is more important than us....This is demonstrated by actions.
ILLUS: Military Service=submissive
adoration to nation/constitution.
ILLUS: To Spouse = submit to vows
given and to the needs of the other.
ILLUS: As employee = give time,
loyalty, energy so that the company looks good.
B. Our sin causes us to chafe at giving submissive
Some marriages: selfish desire to
receive the services of a spouse: gold-digger, cook/laundry lady, live-in lover.
Some employees: care less about
employer ...only in it for themselves.
Some Church Members: wish only to
be served, not to offer themselves in service to God/others
II. STARK CONTRAST: THE SUBMISSIVE ADORATION GIVEN BY JOSEPH.
A. Betrothal = contractual agreement, unlike today.
Mutual consent to be married as
binding as marriage.
Unlike today: Engagement = going steady with hormone
Breaking a betrothal was tantamount to divorce
B. When news of Mary's pregnancy reached Joseph he had
several options from which to chose.
Legally, Mary could be put to
death by stoning.
He could spare her life, but put
her to public ridicule so son would never be welcomed into the synagogue.
The kindest choice was to divorce
C. God's intervention permitted Joseph to give his
submissive authority to God & Mary.
Although not in Joseph's best
interest, he married Mary.
would still wag: "Had to get married"
remarks of friends/relatives would still hurt deeply
But Joseph loved God & Mary
and wanted to serve them...to offer submissive adoration.
Joseph the best of reasons:
Although he couldn't know all that
involved, he knew God was honoring him & keeping His long awaited promise, a
Even though his life would never be the
same, he adored God with the living sacrifice of his life.
D. How about our submissive adoration?
1. How are we approaching the
approach to the manger a seeking after some possibility of personal gain?
looking for a special standing w/God?
think we are doing God a favor by coming?
Or do we come with the heart of
put self-gain aside.
offer ourselves to God.
let God change our lives.