morning. So a church family, Good morning, merry christmas. My name is dan if I’ve not met you, I’m one of the elders here. So glad that you’re here. We’re thankful for this time. We thank you for this season. Um, and today we get to kick off our advent teaching series and those of you who are familiar with where our church has been the last several months, walking through primarily the gospel of luke. What we are going to circle back around to some of those early chapters in luke to make this advent series uh, worthwhile for you. So for some of you, you kinda gotta dust off your those teachings from, you know what, a couple of years ago now. Um, we’re on the deliberate pace through the gospel of luke. I’ll just say that alright, the deliberate pace. So, but anyway, I’m excited to kick off this series this morning and I’m so excited that I told myself that it wouldn’t be wise to begin this morning’s teaching by making a joke about the huskers and the season that our beloved huskers had. And I was also reminded that we just walked through a miniseries entitled Love Well and that wouldn’t be loving you all well if I made that joke. But I do understand that you guys have had lots of practice on loving Well because you root for the huskers. So I will say that right, hey man or ouch, right, You can say one or the other. But really this season is for me one of the most fun seasons this advent season coming off. Thanksgiving. Looking forward to christmas and then a New Year is one of the most fun seasons for me, I know that there’s a lot of stress that people have to deal with. There’s travel. There’s a lot of different things that happen unexpectedly during, during this time that can sour this season. And our hope is that through this advent teaching series that you will stand firm on the truth of God’s word and that you will learn to rejoice in this season even as we sang this morning, even when times are hard that you’ll be able to rejoice in this season. On that note, I want to talk a little bit about advent in the history of it. Before I jump into our passage, advent simply means the coming or the arrival of a notable person or event, the coming or arrival, the notable person or event for God’s people, especially the characters that we read about in the bible. Many of them waited for thousands of years for the arrival of God’s messiah God’s machine, Doc, the anointed one that would save God’s people that would restore God’s people back to a blast relationship with God and usher in the kingdom of God in a life changing and powerful way and waited thousands of years. In fact, when you survey the old testament, which is, I kind of want to give you a brief survey of the old testament. Really. It’s not a survey, but here’s some passages to kind of help. You see the Messianic promise as it was understood by characters in the bible and by characters. I don’t mean fictional characters. I mean people who were living on this earth hoping and waiting for God’s machine shock to appear Beginning with Adam and Eve Genesis 3 15 we’re told that the machine would be the seed of the woman, that he would crush the head of the serpent that would mark a return back to paradise and a return back to this place of a blessed relationship with God. Now the seed of the woman that’s important even as we think about the advent season and the person of mary. Secondly, we see what Abraham who’s one of the patriarchs right, Abraham Isaac and Jacob, they’re called the patriarchs right with Abraham. He understood this promise, this coming of God’s machine doc as the offspring who would overcome his enemies, he would possess the gates of his enemies and in him all the nations of the earth would be blessed. This is what he looked forward to. This was the advent that Abraham thought of. I’m not break dancing up here. I’m not sure what’s going on but just ignore that. Alright, next we move on from Abraham and we get to moses moses understood the appearing of God’s messiah. God’s messiah as God’s chosen king and the prophet moses was a prophet unlike any other prophet in the sense that he spoke face to face with God and yet moses understood that the messiah would be the true prophet, but one above all and God’s chosen king. Alright. Is that on me? Do I need to be careful? There’s some turntables up here. All right, okay. Um secondly, we move forward in history to David King David, this begins the time of the monarchs and God’s people in the history of God’s people. But David understood the coming machine shock as the son who would reign forever. That’s how he looked forward to the advent as a son. That would appear of his own lineage, who would reign forever. And then when you move into the time of the profits, the major prophets like Isaiah and Jeremiah and then some of the minor prophets. Nobody and names other names that you guys can’t pronounce her, I can’t pronounce very well. Um They all understood the messiah is coming to be the deliverer and the restore the one who usher in God’s kingdom in a transformative way. So thousands of years. God’s people waiting for single event, a single time in history when God’s messiah would appear would arrive and today we as God’s people, we also live awaiting the second coming of God’s Mascia, his messiah, the second advent, We live between to advance his first advent And his 2nd advent Christ’s 1st Advent changed history forever And his 2nd advent will mark the end of all history and so just like those who went before us Waiting for the 1st Advent, we can learn from their example. We can learn from their example by first understanding that to them waiting was not a passive thing. Waiting was not an inconvenience to them. Waiting to them did not mean a waste of time. Which is what we tend to associate waiting with. For example, you go to the doctor’s office, your appointment is at 10 30. You show up at 10 15 And you’re waiting in the Doctor’s office in the waiting room and you do not see the doctor until 1130. And you wonder to yourself, I have wasted so much time. What is up with these doctors? If there are any doctors in here, we love you and we pray that you get this sorted out. Um Yeah. Because we associate waiting with an inconvenience but waiting for the people of God. It is a time to be faithful in the little things. It is a time to hope in God and to wait on his deliverance. Just appearing to make all things right. But as we wait, we’re faithful to do the little things. So that is the example that we take from the people of God and scripture. Now. Unfortunately for many of those who called upon the name of the Lord in the old testament. They didn’t wait. Well the period of waiting. The period of of of trying to be faithful in the little things is also a time of testing and many of them failed the test. They didn’t wait. Well, they went after, as we’re saying worldly treasures. They pursued other kings and delivers other means by which they might pursue a better life. And in the process they broke covenant with God and what they found when God finally appeared in their time. And and in various ways they found judgment, not blessing because it didn’t wait. Well, that’s also another example for us to remember, lastly, as we move towards our passage for this morning, Which will be Luke one verses 26 through 38. As we read this passage, pay close attention to the fact that these are unexpected events. These are unexpected circumstances. No one planned for these things to occur or to happen in terms of people and are planning and our thinking and are looking forward. And yet they were supposed to be waiting for the messiah God’s machine doc. So these unexpected things happen and we need to pay attention to how they respond because they tell us, they give us insight into how we are to respond when the unexpected happens Without further Ado Luke. Chapter one, verses 26- 38. This is the reading of the word of the Lord In the 6th month, The Angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of galilee named Nazareth to a Virgin betrothed to a man whose name was joseph of the House of David. And the Virgin’s name was mary! And he came to her and said greetings O favored one. The Lord is with you. But she was greatly troubled at the saying and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the Angel said to her, Do not be afraid mary for you have found favor with God. And behold you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name jesus. He will be great and will be called the son of the most high. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father, David, and he will reign over the House of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom. There will be no end. And mary said to the Angel, how will this be since I am a Virgin? And the Angel answered her. The Holy Spirit will come upon you. And the power of the most high will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called Holy the Son of God. And behold your relative Elizabeth in her old age, has also conceived a son. And this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God. And mary said, Behold I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be to me according to your word, and the Angel departed from her. Let us pray father in heaven. We thank you for your word. Let it be to us according to your word. Let it be to us floor a fulfillment of your promises. And as we wait for the fulfillment of your promise is in our lives and our various circumstances let it be to us Lord, a time of great transformation in our lives. The glory of christ the king the son of the most highest more revealed in us. And I pray this morning Lord that you would use me as your servant to strengthen your people and to make him known more clearly I pray this in jesus name. Amen this passage reminds me of something that’s really exciting that I’ve discovered in our culture. Really I didn’t discover it like you know like the discovery of a country or something like that or a great idea. But something that I’ve noticed and observed that I really appreciate in our culture is seeing couples do a gender reveal throwing a party for that, right? Some really cool stuff happening there especially especially when you think about just how much of a fight it has become in our society to protect life in the womb. And so to see our culture celebrating this, I rejoice. I rejoice at these celebrations. I rejoice at the creativity and laugh at some of the creativity because it’s outlandish and a bit over the top, right? Some of them are just quite goofy and silly, right? But it’s a reminder of just the beauty and the miracle of life beginning in the world. But this passage, this story that we just read this is the birth announcement or the pregnancy announcement of all. It talks them all. An angel comes from the very presence of God to make this announcement. You cannot talk that, I’m sorry. You got guys, you know, swinging baseball bats jumping into pools shooting hoops, dancing on their head. You cannot top an angel appearing from heaven. And that’s exactly what happens in our story. God making this announcement, sending one of his trusted servants and appearing to the virgin. This particular story is called the announcement in scripture. That’s how the church is understood this portion um, luke as being the announcement. I’ve entitled today’s teaching the unexpected announcement because mary was not expecting this announcement, and neither are the people that will be impacted by this announcement. It was totally an unexpected announcement. So what do you do when the unexpected happens? Well, that’s what we’re gonna find out here in the story, right? We’re gonna look at the story. Gonna look at the context and everything surrounding the story. But let’s review some of these unexpected events. First, an angel appears again, the pregnancy announcement of all pregnancy announcements. An angel appearance. Some of us like to think of our little ones as being angels. And then they get older, we realize, yeah, there are different kind of angel, right? Some of you got that some of you you’ll get it on the ride home, it’s okay, We have grace here for people, but an angel appears. I share this story. Um you know in the first service how I’m not one who sits around and expects that angels would appear, but there are some people who expect the appearing of angels and I learned my lesson not to expect that, not saying that that couldn’t happen, you know God’s God, he can do whatever you want, right? And he’s gone, I’m not going to limit him, but I’m just simply saying that’s not something that I expect to experience. I remember as a young christian one time, you know, trying to be faithful to the bible, being familiar with the passage in Hebrews, it says that sometimes those who have entertained strangers have been the process entertained angels. And there was a homeless guy that rode up to me one day and was on his bicycle, rode up to me on his bicycle and ask for some money and I threw him some coins, right? And he quoted that passage, the Hebrew and I said, oh man, I may have just entertained an angel, right? And I went home and I was thinking, yeah, I may have entertained an angel and told a few friends and then a week later saw the same homeless guy smelled alcohol on his breath and realized I did not entertain any angels. And so that was my experience. Anyway, an angel appeared totally unexpected. Secondly, patrolled Virgin is going to be pregnant with a child. Totally unexpected. Right? Virgin marriage has not been Consummated, has not ever been with a man and yet she’s going to be with a child. That’s really unexpected. 3rdly, an older couple who have been battling infertility, becomes pregnant with their first child. These are totally unexpected circumstances that are happening to people that are going to impact their lives in ways they did not expect there’s gonna be some good, there’s gonna be some ups some downs, there’s gonna be some bad that they’re going to have to work through. These are unexpected circumstances that are happening to the people of God. And these examples are things that we can learn from, so that when we face the unexpected, we know how to respond. Well, let’s unpack this a little bit more. Let’s look at the angel First, the significance of the angel. Now, this isn’t just any angel that appears, this is Gabriel, he’s called one of the Ark angels. In other words, he’s one of the angels that minister directly in the presence of God that stands in the presence of God before the throne of God. There’s only a small number of angels that get that privilege and he’s one of those angels and he appears We know this from Luke 119 when he appeared to Zechariah, that’s how he announced himself to Zachariah. I’m one, I’m Gabriel who ministers in the presence of God until he announced himself. But we were first introduced to Gabriel in the Book of Daniel, one of the prophets Daniel nine and 10. Gabriel was sent to help the Prophet Daniel understand the vision concerning the long awaited messiah. The messiah. God’s messiah. Gabriel was sent to help Daniel to understand when and the circumstances surrounding the appearing of the messiah. And he does the same thing here from mary, he helps her to understand how God will accomplish these unexpected circumstances in and through her life. So moving on, our look at mary, the betrothed virgin and to be patrolled is too b bound legally to a commitment to marry in the future. This isn’t an engagement. You see in our culture, you can become engaged, you can propose an offer ring, but that’s not a legally binding commitment. That’s a pledged to be married to this person. But it’s not legally binding the way it meant to be patrolled. The difference is that though she was legally bound and pledged to be married to joseph, the marriage could not be Consummated into a future date. Thanks set a future date to consummate the marriage next, we see that the one that she’s betrothed through is joseph and it mentions that he’s of the lineage of King David. This is significant because the son who is to be born to her is to lay claims to that throne. David strom David as the king. He had a legitimate claim to the throne of David. And then lastly the obvious she’s a virgin. This is significant. And it’s also one of those things that’s difficult for us to wrap our minds around. You see, the messiah needed to be both fully God and fully man to accomplish the plan of salvation for man. Let me say that again. The messiah needed to be both fully God and fully man to accomplish God’s salvation for us. So you need to be able to stand in the presence of God and be able to relate to humanity. But there’s a problem he can’t have the same inherited sinful nature that we are all born with. And so God chooses a virgin and the whole spirit does this miracle in her womb so that she gives birth to the Lord, jesus christ who appears in the form of man and he is fully man and he doesn’t lose his divinity in becoming man. He doesn’t become less god in becoming man. He’s still fully God. But now he’s also taken on a form that is fully man. And this needed to occur in the womb of a virgin. And so that’s why mary has chosen. Lastly, when we look at mary, it says that she has favored o favored one. The Lord is with you. That’s really amazing, right? It says that she’s favored and there’s some implication there. She’s not favored because she’s earned favor. That’s important God and his son has chosen her secondly, it says that she is favored by the Lord. And this is where we depart from roman catholic teaching. One of the many areas where we depart from roman catholic teaching, it says that she is favored by the Lord. She is not a dispenser of the Lord’s favor. She does not give the Lord’s favor. She is not someone we pray and use as a mediator to help us get our prayers answered from the Lord. No, she’s simply one who has benefited from the sovereignty of God and is choosing to bestow his favor upon her. So this is very very important. This is also what the rest of scripture testifies to. When it says In 1st Timothy 2536. This is for there is one God and there is one mediator between God and men. The man christ jesus who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. In that one passage, all the theology that have tried to walk you through right there fully God fully man. The only mediator between God and man. The Lord jesus christ, we don’t need mary or other patron saints to help us get our prayers answered. We pray directly to the father through the Lord jesus christ. He is the only mediator between God and man. Yeah. And guess what mary believes that as well. She believed that then and she certainly believes it now. Yeah, but we move on to the other unexpected announcement and this is Elizabeth’s pregnancy luke 1 13 through 17. Let’s read this is just but the angel said to him, do not be afraid Zechariah for your prayer has been heard and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son and you shall call his name john and you will have joy and gladness and many will rejoice at his birth where he will be great before the Lord and he must not drink wine or strong drink and he will be filled with the Holy spirit even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the Children of Israel to the Lord their God and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of the fathers to the Children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just to make ready for the Lord. A people prepared Zachariah and Elizabeth. They were old, I hesitate to say elderly but they were probably close to being what we would consider an elderly couple. They were certainly passed the time of childbearing and not only that, but Elizabeth was believed to have been barren and so I would submit to you in this particular passage. Zechariah and Elizabeth had probably stopped praying for God to give them a child. It probably had long ceased to make those prayers cigar. He’s gotten older and just began to to realize the fact that that’s probably not going to happen to us. And yet the angel Gabriel says, the Lord has heard your prayer, I’m blown away by that. You may not, you may not have caught the significance of that statement. It’s probably been years since they’ve prayed that prayer. And yet God heard that prayer God had intended to answer that prayer. Got it treasured those prayers. God, in his wisdom, knew when he was going to answer that prayer. And even though they likely were not praying for that thing anymore, God showed up faithfully with the answer to a prayer they prayed years ago, some of us attempted to give up on little things when it comes to praying, we pray a few times for a few days for and we give up. But this story is a reminder that God always hears that prayer and God will answer it in his own way and at the time that he has chosen his best for you for his glory and for those around you. But I’m convinced they stopped praying because this was a complete surprise to Zechariah. The fact that he would even mention that God answered the prayer to give them a child. In fact, he struggled to even believe that God was really going to give them that we’re moving on. He talks about their son that God was going to give him that he would be like the prophet Elijah. Now, if you’re familiar with the old testament, you know that the prophet Elijah was the first person in history to ever take a Uber right? He took a heavenly Uber ride to heaven, right, chariots of fire came down. They picked him up. He did not die a death the way in which we will all likely die and be buried but and heavenly Uber picked the man up and carried him to heaven. And yet there was with his life, there was a promise that another elijah would come to prepare God’s people for God’s machine bank. God’s messiah and the angels declaring to Zechariah and Elizabeth an unexpected announcement that here is the one who will be born through you in your old age. God’s promised Elijah to prepare the people of God four. The messiah and john the baptist was a powerful preacher of repentance. Calling hearts of faithfulness to God is an incredible gospel preacher preparing the hearts of the people of God to get ready for the messiah. He didn’t hold back. He didn’t mince his words at all. I mean he called kings to repent. He called the wealthy, the low, he called everyone to repent. The religious leaders of his day called them to repent. Get ready for God’s messiah. So you have the appearing of an angel virgin birth an elderly couple that battled infertility that were with a child Also, all of these things, unexpected circumstances, unexpected events and yet they fall for us into two categories. one, they fall into the category of unexpected personal circumstances that changed because of unexpected events personally were impacted. We can be impacted by unexpected events and circumstances. And then secondly, people that we know and love can be impacted by unexpected circumstances and events. So you’re either personally dealing with something that happened to you unexpectedly right now or you’re helping someone that you know, and love deal with something that happened to them unexpectedly right now. You ever notice that. So how do we respond? How do we go forward? How do we deal with these things? We put our hope in the Lord. We wait on the Lord and we know that waiting isn’t simply just sitting idly, but it’s being faithful in the little things until he appears until he makes sense of it all until he gives the breakthrough or the deliverance until he leads us out of it. You know, we sang that song this morning about the fear of going through the dark places, the dark valleys. Yeah, it was unexpected tours or detours. Those are the places where we find God and meet God in ways we never could have. We’re not for those experiences. So when the unexpected happens, we wait on the Lord. We put our hope in the Lord. And when you look at the response of Zechariah, the father of john the baptist. He struggled to believe the angels message. Mhm. And he was given a sign, not the kind of sign. He would have asked for how many of you have in your heart secretly wanted God to give you a sign that something that you were praying for, that you wanted to occur that God would give you a sign to assure you that it was going to happen. And you hope that that sign would be in neon lights right? Or it would be on the next page of your bible. You know, some of you play bible Russian roulette, right? We call it bible rule that when you open your bible you pray for something. I’m gonna open my bible now and there. It is an answer to my prayers. There’s a sign right there, right? Or you go out and your next conversation, you’re listening, you’re waiting to hear the words that that might be the sign, right? These are the ways in which we want God to give us a sign to give us assurance that what we are hoping for will come to pass. God gives Zechariah sign, not one that he would have asked for. He struggles to believe. Gabriel who says that you and your wife are going to be given a son, he will come in the spirit of Elijah. He will prepare God’s people for God’s machine shock to appear And Zechariah does not believe. And the angel says, here’s the sign for you, Zachary. You will be mute until this child was born. You will learn to appreciate the word of God by not being able to speak words yourself. You’ll learn to value God’s promises. God in his mercy didn’t make that a permanent sign. This gave him nine months of that. But he learned and there’s something about that that we can really kind of embrace when unexpected things happen. We have to also understand that those unexpected things in many ways. Or like a test like a refining fire, testing our faith and the more we resist the test, the longer the test becomes, it doesn’t get shorter. You can’t simply just walk out on the test. The test remains. What have we learned to respond my faith, hoping in the Lord waiting in the Lord as well. And then we get out of that task. What God wants us to get. We get more of christ We get more of an understanding of God’s love and his grace and his power and his faithfulness. We walk with him closer than we’ve ever walked with him before. You know God, God is good. Your sin has brought about a curse upon our lives, our world sin and yet God will be faithful to walk with us through the various trials that come about because of sin. And when we look at mary’s response to the unexpected circumstances that came upon her that are about to become upon her, Soon to be husband, her family, her friends, her community, the people around her? All of them are about to be impacted by these unexpected circumstances. But we look at Mary’s response, it’s completely different from that of Zechariah verse 38. Well, read it again. This is how she responded. And Mary said to the angel behold I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be to me according to your word. And the angel departed from her mary’s response. Behold I am the servant of the Lord. Mary’s afraid. The angel says, her mary don’t be afraid. We know that she’s afraid again. Angels in the scriptures are nothing like the european paintings of angels, babies and diapers with wings that are cute, right? That’s not what angels are like in scripture. That’s why we see in scripture. The phrase do not be afraid when an angel appears. Why? Because he’s scary. And then what he is dropping upon her is scary. And she says behold I am the servant of the Lord. Oh, there’s too many times where that was not my first response to unexpected circumstances. I’ll be honest with you that we’ve got some work to do for that to be spiritual reflection in me when unexpected circumstances happen. Behold on the surrounding that’s her response. Everything is about to change about her life for family dynamic. I mean those of you in here who are parents, you understand the pressure to be parents of normal Children incredibly hard. Is nerve wrecking. Imagine now that God has given you his son to parent, he’s crying Oh man, what have I done now? Did I feed him enough? Is it warm enough in here? Does he not like the tone of my voice? Mark, joseph’s wondering is my cologne too strong? Maybe that’s irritating him or something? I don’t know what’s going on. Why is he crying? It’s got to be mad at us now we felt look he’s crying. He felt we felt enormous pressure. Lots of unknowns, lots of things that she can’t predict or about to come her way. She has no control over and her responses behold I am the servant of the Lord. Wait for him. Hope in him. He’ll lead me through this, he’ll help me. And even though fear is present and is yelling and it’s saying this is not good mary, she believes Zechariah felt the same fear. Maybe he thought that the angel meant that you know he would have the baby, not his wife. I don’t know, probably not the case. Guys don’t like pain. It’s just truth, right? You know dude dude flues dude sickness, it is worse. It’s bad. It’s bad, right? But it shouldn’t Virgin. Just behold I am the servant of the Lord God. Somehow it’s going to glorify his name in and through me through these unexpected circumstances and I’ve just got to trust him even though it’s going to impact every area of my life. I’m gonna have to look people in the eye and say that this baby was not because joseph and I decided to you know, not practice self control here and not wait until we were legally. I mean until we can consummate the marriage. No, there was no other man. She’s got to look people in the eye and deal with these things. Family. She’s gotta deal. She’s got to look them now and deal with this. Yeah. She says behold I am the servant of the war. She’s resolved to wait on the Lord to trust in. The Lord. Could be faithful in the small things. No.