Tuesday, December 24, 2013

20131225 Christmas Hope for Broken Dreams

Sketch note 25 December 2013
Wesley Methodist Church Singapore
Sermon: Christmas Hope for Broken Dreams
Rev Dr Kow Shih Ming

Bible Text: Matt 1:18-25

What does "Christmas" mean to you?
People usually will think of

Yet this is a romanticized version 

People seldom think of
Shattered dreams 
Yet this is also Christmas

Consider Mary's broken dreams
She dreams of marriage and security
She dreams of children, evidence of God's blessing
Engaged, pledged to be married to Joseph

BUT an angel appears and tells her
"You are to bear a child
The father is not Joseph"
Mary is greatly troubled 
A young teenage pregnant single girl
Could be stripped naked in public, exposed, humiliated, stoned to death.

She has to tell Joseph
"I am pregnant"
And Joseph knows he is not the father.
Dreams shattered!

Joseph had dreams
Joseph was an upright man
"Sadiq": obedient to the Torah
Pledged to be married
Upright man
Looked up to
Dream plan: get married, have children:
But the girl who is pledged to marry him
...is pregnant, and Joseph is not the father
Dream shattered

But the troubles have not ended

After birth of baby Jesus, Joseph is told to take his family and flee to Egypt.
From respected member of society to a refugee: 
From Isreal to Egypt, a Sadiq in land filled with idols.
Then after Herod dies he is instructed to return to Israel.
To start life all over again.
A nobody in a nobody town.
Broken dreams.

They meet Simeon
Mary is told "a sword will pierce your soul"

When Jesus is 12 they lose him after the Passover: 
But when questioned Jesus says
"Did  you not know that I would be in my father's house?"
Surely this must have hurt Mary

When Jesus mother and brothers were waiting to speak to him and Jesus was so informed, he says
"Who is my mother, my brother?" Matt 12:48
Then pointing to his disciples he says "here is my mother and my brothers"
Which earthly mother would not be hurt?

Mary watched her son being crucified

Mary watched him die

She knew his body was laid in a tomb

Broken dreams

What about you?
What are your broken dreams?

Dreamed of marrying but no man to marry?

Dreamed of happy marriage but marriage traumatic?

Dreamed of happy motherhood but child born with disability?

Terminal illness?

Dreamed to study and conquer the world?
But can't get into university?

There is hope despite these broken dreams
There is the GIFT of Christmas hope
G for GIVE

G for GIVE
Give your broken dreams to God

Mary submitted her dreams to God
"I am the Lords' servant
May it be to me as you have said" (Luke 1:38)

Broken dreams will hold you in chains

Release them
Open your hands

Invest your life in God's dream

Sermon illustration
Paul and Linda consulted business consultant Mike
Mike drew a box and asked them
"What's in your box?"

(eg Coca cola new enterprise "new coke" was a flop 
But when the company stated that their core value was "heritage"
and they went back to "classic  coke" they succeeded .)

What's in your box?
What's the main thing?
The central purpose of your life?
Money or Jesus?

What's the driving force in your life?

 Where/what do you spend time/ money/ energy?
These are the things that drive you

You are saved for a mission 

Figure out God's destiny for your life?

Perhaps you already know,
But you have tried to marginalize that God given destiny
You choose to chase your own dream, not God's dream.

For 2014 passionately persue God's dream
Luke 16:10


You need to forgive those who have crushed your dreams

Perhaps with a put-down
"You could never do that"
Perhaps negative peer pressure 

Make peace with them.
Don't be afraid.
Just believe.

Sometimes it is God who has broken your personal dreams
and you are angry with God.
You need to forgive.

Perhaps God has failed to heal you or your loved one?
You need to make peace with God.

T is for TRUST
You need to trust God
With broken dreams, don't get bitter:
Get better.

Trust: not blissful blur wistful wishes

But confident that God will fulfill his promises to me
1 Peter 1:3
I have hope because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ

Hope is ultimately a person
None less than Jesus Christ
Titus 2:13

Jesus WILL come again

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure (Hebrews 6:19)

Sermon illustration
Mary had a baby Raechel, born anaenephalic
Did not die immediately as predicted, but survived 3 years
Raechel's only response was to make cooing noises when being bathed
Cared for for three years
Mary took a vacation
Phoned and spoke to Raechel
Raechel responded with cooing

Raechel died before Mary returned home

Christmas hope
One day Raechel and Mary will be together
Talking, sharing, hugging, laughing.
To know each other and be whole.
Not only a dream but a reality promised by God.

Broken dreams?
Hope in the Christ of Christmas

With the resurrection of Jesus we have a living hope.

GIVE your broken dreams
Talk to God
surrender your broken dreams

Buried under layers?
Hidden behind masks..

Release these broken dreams to God

Discover God's dreams for you:
Spend the rest of your life perusing God's dream

FORGIVE those who have broken your dreams

TRUST in the Christ of Christmas
Surrender your life to him.

Will you surrender your life to Jesus?
Invite him into your life
Say "Jesus, will you be my leader?"
Follow Jesus
Trust Jesus.

If you have said this prayer in your heart please let one of us or a pastor know.

Maybe you are a Christian already
But you realize your surrender has been incomplete
God asks for your TOTAL surrender
No holding back

Is there some area in your life that you need to surrender?
Do it today.

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