Big Idea: God began to shift the world from our brokenness to the possibility of becoming whole again, with the birth of a baby. He uses the weak to do great things.
Scripture: And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.” Mark 2:22 ESV
But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:27-31 ESV
Moses – the man God chose to deliver Israel. Now a man from the house of Levi went and took as his wife a Levite woman. The woman conceived and bore a son, and when she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him three months. When she could hide him no longer, she took for him a basket made of bulrushes and daubed it with bitumen and pitch. She put the child in it and placed it among the reeds by the river bank. And his sister stood at a distance to know what would be done to him. Exodus 2:1-4 ESV
Samuel – asked of God. They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord; then they went back to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her. And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, “I have asked for him from the Lord.” 1 Samuel 1:19-20 ESV
Samson – the strong Judge. And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, so the Lord gave them into the hand of the Philistines for forty years. There was a certain man … whose name was Manoah. And his wife was barren and had no children. And the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold, you are barren and have not borne children, but you shall conceive and bear a son. Judges 13:1-3 ESV
Mary – the mother of Jesus, was open to new possibilities. 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. … For nothing is impossible with God.” Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” Luke 1:35-38 ESV
Jesus – the Saviour of the world. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2:4-14 ESV
We tend to think that our strength and wisdom are God’s secret weapons, but in truth, God is simply looking for people who love him, bow before him in humility, love his Word and desire to put him first in everything they do.
Thus says the Lord :“Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest? All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word. Isaiah 66:1-2 ESV
My Prayer for Northside Church. May January 2021 be the season when we ask, “Lord, what have you been saying to us this past year? How can we move into the new surprises you’ve prepared for us in 2021? How can we honour you first this year?” Rather than our thinking, “It’s all about me.” Lord, would you speak to each of us, and may our ears be opened to hear your voice, as you direct our steps to walk out your plans that you have already prepared for each of us. May we be new wineskins, ready to be filled and stretched, and willing to be poured out to the world around us. We don’t ask you for great things — we simply want, like Mary did, to serve and honour you in our attitude, our words and our actions. Amen”.