On Sunday, I had the privilege of kicking off our Christmas series at church. It was a great experience for me (I hope for others), but at the end, I completely forgot to talk about something I had planned to preach! So I thought I'd put it in the blog for anyone who was curious (if you didn't know that I missed something, now you do):
To recap, I preached on Matthew 1:18-25, and got through verse 23. Joseph basically has the choice to believe his pregnant future-wife over common sense, as well as the angel who appeared to him in a dream to assure him that Mary's not lying about where her baby came from.
So now, Joseph's got the choice to take Mary as his wife, or not. He's got the choice to join in God's saving mission, or not. If he does, he's going to take an incredible risk to himself. He'll likely lose the respect of family and friends who will assume that he's the real father of Mary's illegitimate child (at least, illegitimate in their eyes). He might lose business customers and a good standing with the synagogue.
The point is this: Following Jesus is dangerous. You're going to lose something. It might not be your life, but it might be the respect of your friends, colleagues, and family. You could be passed up for job opportunities. Believing in and following Jesus will not make you safer, wealthier, or healthier. If you don't believe me, read the New Testament (and stop reading certain authors who would tell you otherwise).
I'm not saying this will be easy. I'm saying Jesus is worth it.
(I also was supposed to say the word "Lego's," but forgot. In case you're curious, I was going to compare our broken, fallen, sinful world to a Lego set. You see what it's meant to be by the picture on the box, but inside, everything's scattered and needs someone to put it back together. This "reassembling" takes place in, through, and because of Jesus.)