The Way Back
So much of our lives get crushed by chaos because we keep focusing on the unexpected and unknown. But it’s not about how—it’s about who. Don’t get lost in the chaos. Even in the mess, even in the chaos, God always has a plan for you. The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. God’s Spirit is with you.
Ryan Bramlett • The Way Back • Luke 1:26-38
Series: The Way Back
Message: From Chaos
Pastor: Ryan Bramlett
Study Guide (PDF)
Traders Point, how are we? It’s so good to be with you. My name is Ryan, I’m one of the pastors around here. What you just watched is a sneak peek into the lives of Brian and Jennea. They’re actually going to be here on January 5 on this stage to sit down and have a conversation with Aaron. I’m telling you, what you just saw on that video is just scratching the surface of their relationship, of what they went through from drugs and depression, to ultimately Jesus showing up and changing everything in their lives. I’m telling you, January 5 is a day you do not want to miss. Make sure you get back here for that. Before we get rolling today, I want to take one more second and celebrate what’s about to happen starting next weekend. Christmas services, 26 services across all of our campuses. Christmas is a really, really big deal to us because of what it shows us, what it tells us, what it means. That’s why we’re throwing an over-the-top party 26 times over the course of a few days. So, this week as we’re gearing up for this, I just want to ask you guys to be praying for Aaron. That man is about to start a preaching marathon starting this Thursday. Join us in praying for him. In this moment, can we just stop and celebrate him right now? Let him hear we are behind him? Let him know we are for him, and we believe in him. We can’t wait to hear what God has given him this Christmas. But as far as today, today is December 15. We are 10 days out from Christmas. This is possibly the most chaotic 10 days of the year. There is so much to do. It’s almost surprising that the room is filled right now, because there is so much you could be doing right now. Let’s be honest. Who here has done all of their Christmas shopping, every single bit of it? You think you’re better than me? You put your hand down. Where are my people? Who still has some, to a lot, of Christmas shopping to do? Yes, you can do it. I believe in you. It’s not even considered shopping until you’re down to Christmas Eve and you’re going through the racks, and there is nothing there. You know there is nothing there. That is when the chaos ensues. What are we going to do? What am I going to give the people I love most? There is nothing here at Target. Where else am I supposed to go? What we’ve been doing in this series over the past few weeks and leading all the way up to Christmas is looking back to that first Christmas. Because all of the feelings that you’re holding on to going into this Christmas, chances are what you’re going through is a lot of what people were going through during that first Christmas. It wasn’t the perfect picture that a lot of times we have in the back of our minds. It wasn’t the picture on the wall. It wasn’t the nativity setup at your grandparent’s house. There was a lot going on those few days before Christmas. If you have a Bible, you can go ahead and flip to Luke 1 starting in verse 26. What we’ve been doing over the past few weeks is kind of using these verses to setup everything we’ve been teaching. What we’ve said is Jesus came on that first Christmas to provide a way back, a way back from our fears, a way back from our anxieties, and a way out of chaos. That’s what we’re going to be looking at today. Just so we can all jump off from the same spot, let’s go to Luke 1 starting in verse 26. Take a look at this. “…God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, ‘Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!’”This doesn’t exactly comfort Mary, though, because keep reading: “Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. ‘Don’t be afraid, Mary,’ the angel told her, ‘for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.’”“Mary asked the angel, ‘But how can this happen? I am a virgin.’ The angel replied, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.’”Confused, disturbed, and left questioning how. How is this going to happen. This is a perfect recipe if you want to know what chaos is; as if you need any explaining it is that. Disturbed, confused, how is this going to happen? Has anyone here had one of those moments in your life when everything seemed like it was going one direction. You were facing this way, you could see how your life was going to go. But then in a moment, everything changed. In a moment everything changed. And no longer was it clear over here, what it was going to be, when you got the phone call, when you got the diagnosis, when you sat down to have that talk that you didn’t think would end the way it did. But now everything is changing. You are confused. You are disturbed. And you are wondering, “How is this going to work? How is this thing going to play out?” You’ve been there. I know I have. I remember where I was. It was right after I got married. We moved into the smallest apartment in the history of apartments. It was beautiful. It was perfect, but I could walk in the front door and in two hops I could be in the living room, in the kitchen, or I could be in the bedroom. It didn’t matter where I was. At any point, one spin move and I was wherever I needed to be. It was great. And we were young. We were in love. We decided, “Let’s hold off on having kids. Let’s wait on that. But, life is too easy and great to leave it at that. Let’s do something. Let’s get a puppy. That will be great. Let’s do that. It’s too easy, too fun, so let’s get a puppy.” So, we got a puppy. And if you’ve ever gotten a puppy, they look great online and in pictures. But then when they come home, they are the worst. Just chewing up everything, peeing all over the place, whining in the middle of the night. What were we thinking? This was a lot. But we get this dog on a Tuesday, and it is a Friday. We’ve made it through the week with this dog. We’re sitting on the couch—me, Steph (my wife), and the dog, watching Everybody Loves Raymond. This is a good night. We did it. We survived. My wife turns over and looks at me. She is about to say something. I’m thinking, “What is she going to say? Do you want to move this party into the other room?” That’s not what she said. She said, “Hey, I think I’m pregnant.” I said, “Hey, how do you think that? What does that even mean? How do you have a thought like that? ‘cause we got a dog. We decided not to do the baby thing.” But she said, “I think.” And I said, “Okay.” So, that meant, “I think I should go to CVS.” I go and get the test. I should have known, because for the past nine years when my wife thinks something, it’s usually true. So, I remember being in the living room, she is in the bathroom. She starts yelling out that she is pregnant. And, in that moment everything changed. It wasn’t because I didn’t see myself being a father one day. It didn’t mean I didn’t want to be a father. But, it felt like chaos because it was unexpected. Right? I thought when I would be a dad, my life would look a little bit different. I thought maybe my housing situation would look a little bit different. Where am I going to put this baby? I thought my paychecks would look a little bit different. I thought my bank account would look a little different. I though I would be a little bit older, a little wiser. That I could actually impart some things to this tiny, little child. But it all just came, and everything in a moment changed. Have you been there? That’s usually when the chaos ensues. There are two things that bring chaos. It’s when we face the unexpected, and we’re met with the unknown. When we face the unexpected, and the unknown. It’s when everything begins to get blurry and we’re trying to figure this thing out. What does this mean now? I had a clear picture over here, but now we’re over here. What do I do with this, now that my future isn’t as clear as I thought it was? As far as things being unexpected, that probably would have been Mary and Joseph’s catch phrase for the next 30 years, “Well, that was unexpected.” From this moment where they are just going about their lives, the angel comes and says, “You’re about to give birth to the Savior of the world. Well, see you later,” and the angel leaves—for a moment she has to be processing, “Was that real? Did that really happen? Can I be sure of this?” And the months go by and there is a good sign. She looks down, there is a baby. It is starting to go. She’s like, “Okay, that wasn’t crazy. That wasn’t just a dream. That is really happening. We are really pregnant, we’re going to do this thing.” And at that moment she had to be thinking, “Okay, this is what my life is going to look like. God just met me in that moment. This is God’s plan, God’s baby, and he is going to protect me. He is going to roll out the red carpet. My life is about to look pretty darn good. And that lasts for about nine months. And when Mary is about nine months pregnant, like painfully pregnant. Have any women in the room ever been painfully pregnant? Yeah. So, everything is hurting. Back hurts, stomach hurts, everything is hurting. And Joe comes home and says: Babe, we’re about to take a trip. And maybe she is thinking: Like a baby moon? We’re going to take a trip before Jesus is born? This is incredible. I’ll start packing. Joe’s like: No, no, no, not like that. Um, see, we’ve got to go back to my family’s town and register for this census.This would not have been the fun trip, the exciting trip. This would have been grueling. From where they were to B-town where they needed to go (Bethlehem) it was anywhere from seven to 10 days. And since we’re exactly 10 days out from when we celebrate Christmas, let’s call it 10 days. Ten days, they are traveling through mountains, traveling through weather, walking on swollen feet just hurting. They finally get there though. They arrive in Bethlehem. So much is unexpected, from the unplanned pregnancy, this unexpected trip to Bethlehem at nine months. This is so hard. And they get there and start walking around to figure out where they need to register, what they need to do. And Mary turns to Joseph and says: Hey, I think I’m about to go into labor. Joseph says: What do you mean you think you’re about to go into labor? We’re no where near our home, not near out family doctor. What does that mean, you think you’re going to go into labor? I don’t think so. But, it turns out that Mary, like most women, is right in this circumstance. And she says: No, it’s about to happen. So, they try to figure out a place to go. And every place they go, every house, every building, there is no room for them anywhere. The only spot they can find to give birth to the Savior of the world is in a barn. That would have been unexpected. Can you imagine? Just go with it for a second, and try and process where Mary was. She has been given this direct message from an angel, from God, that she is going to give birth to the Savior of the world. And she goes through this long and grueling pregnancy, where she is literally providing lodging to the Son of God. And then she gets to this town and is ready to give birth, but the world can’t provide lodging for her? What is going on? How does this make any sense? This is so unexpected? Have you ever been there? You thought your life was going to go one way. You thought God was for you, which meant smooth sailing. Life was going to look different. Then you stepped out in confidence, and you were like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, this does not match. I’m following God. I’m doing things. I’m loving people. I’m forgiving people. But why does it feel like it’s not coming back? Why does it feel like it’s not being reciprocated? Why does it feel like I’m doing all these things, but it’s not matching the way I though it would?” UnexpectedUnknownThat’s where Mary and Joseph are. And they are in this barn, and Mary is in labor and she has a baby. She has this beautiful baby boy, and she names him Jesus. But there they are. They are in this barn. Think about it. They’ve just been traveling for 10 days. Covered in sweat and gross, haven’t showered. They are literally living in a barn. Hay is just stuck to their face. The baby is crying. They are trying to figure this thing out. They’ve never been parents before. What would be the worst thing to happen at this moment? An unexpected visitor, right? That’s exactly what happens. They’re in this barn trying to figure out life. They are all gross and disgusting. And then they hear a knock on the barn door. Side note, even today, if you get a knock or someone rings your doorbell, do you not immediately get anxious and like, “Who could be here?” You start getting really quiet and low, “Did you order anything? Food? Amazon? Who is out there then? No one likes us this much to just drop in. Who is out there?” But Joe, Joe goes to the door and he is like: I don’t know. And he swings open the barn door. And it’s shepherds. And he turns back to Mary and is like: Mary, did you order any shepherds? What are you fella’s doing here?Think about it, this is all so unexpected. Who would even have known they were in this barn? Who would even have known that Jesus was already born? Well Luke tells us exactly what was happening just a field away. Take a look at this. This is when they were going through one of the most chaotic times of their lives. Everything seems so unexpected, and they felt so alone questioning: Did God leave us here to go through this alone?Look at what was happening in the field just down the road: “That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. ‘Don’t be afraid!’ he said. ‘I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! “‘And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.’ Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.’”This celebration is happening just outside the chaos! A Savior has been born. Think about this, these shepherds were sitting in a field minding their own business, and then this one angel pops up and tells them all of this: The Savior was just born, and he gives them every single detail of what to look for and where to go. Even through it felt unexpected, God knew exactly what was happening every single step of the way. As he is about to leave, they think he is about to leave, but then they start seeing angels, more and more angels. All of heaven’s army is now covering this field. They begin worshipping and singing that Jesus has come, he is here. Picture Kanye’s choir, but like a thousand times better, just singing, “Jesus is King.”And then they just disappear. And the shepherds are like: We’ve got to know. We’ve got to know what this is all about. So then they start going. And they know exactly where to go. Did you notice that? Down to the detail. He told them what barn to go to, what they should look for, what the baby was going to be dressed in, where the baby was going to be placed. They knew every single detail, because God had told them. And that really begins to push up against the idea that a lot of times when we are met with the unexpected it can feel like, “I don’t know what this is right now, because I had an order for my life. I had a future I was looking at.” And that’s order, right? When things go as I intended. That’s a lot of times how we define it. Order is when things go as I intended. Anything that interrupts that is chaos. But what God is showing here, on that first Christmas is even though it was unexpected and it felt like it had no order, God was doing something all along. In a field away, he knew exactly what was happening. And that brings us to a definition that is so much more helpful. Here is what order is:When things go as God had intended That’s what order is. And that’s something that can bring our heads up. When we get into these situations where we feel like we’re so alone, and we feel like maybe God’s not there, God’s like: No, no, no, I’m there. I’ve been there all along. There is nothing that happens that I don’t know about. But it depends on the seat we are in as to what we are able to see. And the things we focus on will shape whether we are sitting in chaos or whether we have the faith to know God is in this. Think about it from this perspective. When you’re going on a road trip, you get in the car and start going down the interstate. Maybe you are like two states away. And you keep driving through until you’re numb. You just keep seeing brake lights, and brake lights, until your car comes all the way to a stop. Is anyone just feeling anxious just thinking about that right now? This is not the way it is supposed to go. This is so unexpected. We are on an interstate, we should be able to go anywhere from 65 to 85 miles per hour, depending on where you are. We shouldn’t be stopped right now. There is something that has gone horribly wrong and I need to get out of it. I need to look for the first exit. I cannot sit here any longer. I will go three hours out of my way just not to sit here because it feels like it’s so unexpected. It feels like there is no order to it. But is that fair? Is the roadwork that is happening chaos? Maybe from my seat, from my limited perspective. But the truth is, this roadwork is planned. The truth is there were hundreds of people working on this. The truth is they had meetings. The truth is that day everyone had the tools they needed. The truth is they were working on this road to actually make it better. Here is the big one. They actually have a blueprint of what this is going to look like when it’s all said and done. They have everything they need. I think God came to show us on that first Christmas that: Hey when you find yourself in chaos, when it feels like everything is unexpected, when you’re sitting there standing still and you don’t know why you’re not moving trust me. I’ve got people working on this. Trust me. My angels are in the heavens. Trust me. They are coming down here. Trust me. I have a blueprint for the way this thing shakes out. Just trust me. Everything that feels like it is so unknown in the moment, God is saying: No, no, no, I’ve got a plan for that too. And usually, in these moments where we face the unexpected, when the unexpected happens our minds drift to the unknown. To the unknown of how? How? How is this going to happen? Like when I found out that Steph was going to have a baby. How? How are we going to afford this? Where are we going to put this baby? There is barely enough room for me, the dog, and her. Where is the baby going to go? How? And if you noticed, in that first interaction, when the angels came down to Mary, this would have been so incredible. He lays it on her and says: You are going to give birth to the Savior of the world. And her first response was--did you catch it? How? “Mary asked the angel, ‘But how can this happen?’”The unexpected happened, and her mind went right to how? How is this going to happen? My life was looking like this, and now you’re saying its going to be like this. Tell me how. And she had a legitimate response. How? Because the order wasn’t going the way she thought it would, but quite frankly, the order was going in a way it’s never gone before. Because she is saying this: How can this happen? I am a virgin. But a lot of us, we get into these spots in our lives when the unexpected happens, when we’re met with the unknown. We think how? This order is not right. This is not going the way I thought it would. Why is this on my shoulders? How? I’m a student. I don’t even know what we’re having for lunch tomorrow at school. How is this happening to me? How is this happening? I’m a single parent. Why is this falling on my shoulders. This doesn’t make any sense. How am I going through this? Why would I go through this loss? How? I don’t have the experience. I don’t know what to do. How? I’m too old. I’m too young. How? That’s usually the response we have to the unknown. But did you notice what the angel’s response when Mary asked how was? When Mary said, “How,” to one of the biggest things that has ever happened. She said, “How,” and the angel said: Here is how. Don’t focus on the details of the unknown, but here is what you can focus on, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.”God said: No, no, no, you are focusing in on the wrong things. Yes, this is a lot. Yes, this is unknown. Yes, if you’re looking at this at face value, no, you don’t have everything you need. No, you don’t match up. But, if you look at it like this, the Holy Spirit will overshadow you. Everything you are not, God is saying, “I am.” When we face the unknown, when everything is not going the way we thought it would, when our minds drift to the unknown, God is saying” No, come back over here, come back over here. Its not about who you are, its about who I am. And everything I am is enough to overshadow everything that you aren’t. How is it going to happen? I’m a student. Because the power of the Holy Spirit will overshadow you. How is it going to happen? I’m a single parent. Because the power of the Holy Spirit will overshadow you. In every situation, wherever you find yourself, in the unknown, you can rest on that truth. God is there, and the presence of his Holy Spirit is enough. And these are the things we can cling to. This is the truth we can cling to. Instead of getting lost in the unknown, we can say, “What is true?” What’s true? What’s true about this moment. No matter what the environment is telling me, no matter what people are saying, what is true? What can I focus on? You see, in our lives right now—it’s been a long time since that last pregnancy test. We now have three kids. We have so many kids. They are seven, five, and three. There was a lot of, “I’m thinking I’m pregnant.” And I’ve been to CVS a lot. My son right now, he is five years old and he gets scared, especially in the middle of the night. If he is asleep and wakes up in the middle of the night, and it’s just darkness, the darkness kind of plays tricks on him. He begins to think things that just aren’t real, they just aren’t true. So, we’ll go in there and calm him down, tuck him in. We’ll tell him there are no monsters in the closet. There is no one coming to get you. It’s okay. But there are only so many times you can go in and tell a kid there are no monsters in the closet. He is just not getting it. We had to try something else. So, my wife recently, when she goes into the room she sits down. What they do is they focus on what is true. Instead of getting lost in, “There are not monsters in the closet,” she says, “No, no, no, look at me. What is true? What is true is you are in your bed bud. Look down, this is your bed. What is true is you’re safe. What’s true is you’re not alone. Mom and dad are just down the hall. As soon as you screamed, we were here. What is true is we are always going to be right here. As soon as you call, we’re right here. That’s what’s true.” And I think so much of our problem is when we get into the unexpected and unknown and we face all these things, our minds begin to race and we try to take away the question marks. Because life is looking so much different than we thought it would. The order seems wrong. It seems like everything is out of whack. We say, “How can we make sense of this?” and we focus on the unknown, trying to piece that together. But what if this week, as you’re going through life… It’s the busiest time of the year, the most chaotic time of the year. Chances are this week is looking differently than you thought it would. Maybe with who you’re sharing Christmas with, what you are going through, what just broke at your house. It’s usually a furnace, a water heater. Something goes down exactly when you don’t need it to. But in those moments, what would it look like as a church if we would just pause for a moment and say, “What is true?” Allow the anxiety to leave, allow the fears to leave, and just get down there and say, “What is true? What can we know?” Because what we can know actually sheds light on all the things that are unknown. It doesn’t take them away, but it allows us to deal with them. It allows us to walk into the chaos. So, what can be known in any situation, no matter who you are or what you’re going through? What the first Christmas tells us is: You are loved. No matter what situation you are going through, no matter what you are facing, what’s the truth? The truth is that God would send his only Son here to be born in a barn for you. What does that mean? The truth is God sees you, even when it seems like it was unexpected, even when it seems like it is unknown. God says: I see everything. And when Jesus was actually teaching here on earth, he was going through this ministry here, he was talking about this. He said that nothing happens without God knowing about it. He said: You know sparrows? You know birds? Not one of them falls to the ground without God knowing it. He is there. He is involved in every single step of the way.“Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” (Matthew 10:28-31, NLT)And then Jesus takes it a step further and says: For you? For you, God knows you. God loves you. God has such a high value on you. He cares about you so much. You wonder if he sees you? He sees you. Every single hair on your head has been numbered. Even when one hair from your head falls, God knows that it fell and why it fell, and what he is going to do about it. And then Jesus takes a step back and says: Yeah, like I said when one sparrow falls God knows about it. How much more valuable to God are you then a whole flock of sparrows? You can have this you can cling on to. No matter what you are facing, no matter what you’re going through, no matter what tries to steal your value and tell you that you are not enough, no matter what you face that feels like chaos and you say, “How?’” God is saying: Because my Spirit will come, the Holy Spirit will come and overshadow everything you are going through.” Can we celebrate that this morning? God is for us. That’s what’s true. That can be the thing that takes us into the chaos, and it’s actually our way out of it. Because it is horrible to go through life and think it’s going to go the way we thought, that life is just going to bow down to the way and the order we have. No, we have something bigger than that. We know the one who has the blueprint. We know the one who is in control. Even if it’s unknown to us, we know it’s known to him. And you see, the life of Jesus, for his mom and dad, would have continued to be so unexpected. And not just for them, for everyone. You see, Jesus was born in that barn, but he grew up. He starts this public ministry where he goes out and starts showing he really is who he said he was. He really is who the angels said he was. And then he goes out and he is teaching. And he’s talking about God in a way that no one has ever head before. And he begins going to these different town and he starts healing people. People who were once blind are no longer blind. People who had leprosy no longer have leprosy. People who were dead are no longer dead anymore. People were looking like: Yes, this is the way we thought it was going to go. This is our King. This is the Savior. This is the Good News the shepherds told us about when they came that day. It is all happening. Until it wasn’t. Until the unexpected happened. Jesus is at the end of his ministry, and then he is betrayed. He is sold for just a few pieces of silver. He is taken in, arrested, and he is sentenced to death on a cross. He is beaten. He is unrecognizable. They make him carry his cross. As he goes out, everyone had to be thinking, Mary, the disciples, everyone who once knew Jesus and thought that this was the Savior—now this thing happens, and it was so unexpected. And maybe they questioned: Is this really who we thought it was? Because this isn’t going the way we thought it would go. This is not the order we thought it would go down in. And Jesus goes to this cross, Savior of the world, King of the world, and he takes his last breath and dies on a cross for me and you. This is so unexpected. And they take Jesus’ body off the cross, take him to a tomb, and throw him in. Now, it’s just unknown. Now, this following that had started, all these people who had seen so many miracles and had heard from God directly, they began questioning: How is this going to work? Because we just saw a man who was dead thrown into a cave. What does this mean for our Savior? What does this mean for good news? And it was a day of unknown, and then two days of unknown. But on the third day, in that tomb, Jesus’ lifeless body began to breathe. Jesus came back to life. Jesus came back for me and you to show us this is the way back. That even when we see things that just seem so chaotic, when it seems so out of order, when things seem to be lost and all hope is gone, Jesus is saying: Don’t count me out. This maybe unexpected to you, but God had a plan all along.And when Jesus came back, what he came to extend to me and you was a relationship. Through the chaos of the cross, God was re-establishing order. He was re-establishing our relationship with him. Now we can come to him. Now we can believe in him, and when we do he sends his very Spirit and it overshadows us. It gives us everything that we need, not just for this world, but for the world to come, for eternity. This is what we have because of Jesus. When we find ourselves in these situations, we have nothing to fear. When the anxiety comes, when the chaos is there, God is saying: Even when it seems like I’m not there, I’m there.When you begin to question, “Is this going to work? Is this going to happen?” remember Jesus said: I came so you could come back. Would I have come if my Father didn’t have a large house with many rooms for every single one of you? Yes, I know the world rejected me. Yes, I know the world abandoned me. But I am here for you.And Jesus extends this to everyone, no matter what you’re going through, where you’ve been, today. Let today be the day when you let the Spirit of God overshadow you. And what it takes is belief, even in the chaos, even when you’re having a hard time matching up your life to a good God, you can trust through the first Christmas when God sent his Son into this mess to bring us out, that we have hope. Even in the chaos God is providing a way to Jesus. It is Good News for all people. What I want to do right now is just pray. I’m going to pray and talk to God. We’re just going to have a moment to be able to sit down and ask, “What is true? What are the things we can cling on to? What are the things that can bring us into this holiday season? What are the things that can take us into 2020?”We are loved. God is for us. God has a plan. And God isn’t going anywhere. That is the one thing that will never change. Would you pray with me? God, we thank you for this morning. God, we thank you for the story of Christmas, for what it looks like for you to re-establish order, for you to fix what was broken, for you to come. And what it meant for you to wrap yourself in skin and bones and be here for us. God, I pray for all of us, as we go through life, as we face chaos, as we go through our fears and anxieties and our minds go to the unknown, God, I pray through your Spirit that we could be refocused and that we could cling to what is true. That nothing happens without you knowing. Even though it is unexpected, you knew it. And God, no matter what we face, or the how or the question marks, the things we don’t know, you have sent your Spirit here to overshadow us. God, let this room and all the rooms be a response to your Good News today, the Good News that you sent your Son here. Jesus, we love you. It’s in your perfect name we pray. Amen.
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