What kind of week have you had? Excellent? Difficult? The Christmas season is often a mixture of stress and excitement. I saw this vividly during the Christmas Special, as members of our church family entered into the joy of Christ’s coming; but at the same time, they faced the loss of loved ones, illness, and financial concerns.
As many of us will go to family gatherings in the next few days, we too may experience a mixture of stress and joy.
When we think of Christmas, we often think of warm fuzzies (Christmas Carols, chocolate, turkey, and gifts), but the activities of the season can also remind us of our personal brokenness and our yearning for more peace on earth. Our experience, in some ways, is very similar to experiences of Joseph and Mary on that first Christmas, 2000 years ago. The events leading up to Jesus’ birth were an unusual mix of stress and wonder.
Our text today, Matthew 1:18-25, is about the birth of Jesus. It is also a case study in how to deal with stress and make good choices. How do you and I make good choices under stress?