Weekly Sermon
Delivered By
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr
Delivered On
December 16, 2018 at 10:45 AM
Shocking News

Shocking News
“Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?”
This third sermon in the 2018 Advent season carries
further Jeremiah’s prophecy of a New Covenant and
Isaiah’s prophecy of “…a son is given…”. Many Centuries
later,  those Old Testament prophecies were carried
from a general to the specific context as disclosed in two
Books of the New Testament: Matthew and Luke. Of
specific interest for this sermon is Luke’s account of the
Nativity. Therein Luke tells of the angel, Gabriel, being
dispatched Nazareth with a message for an espoused
virgin whose name was Mary. ( Luke 1:26-27 ). Gabriel
told Mary that she “…found favor with God and that she
“…shall conceive…and bring forth a son, and shall call his
name JESUS” ( Lk. 1:30-31 ). That news was shocking to
as reflected in her response to the angel “…how shall this
be, seeing I know not a man?” ( Lk. 1:34 ). That question will
anchor this sermon entitled Shocking News. It will examine
three levels on which shocking news can occur, namely:
national shocking news, personal shocking news, and
spiritual shocking news. Although the textual base for the
sermon is Spiritual, a decision was made to examine it last
because it is the one with the ultimate significance.
As background information, attention is called to the
fact that many years separate the cultural setting during
the time of Mary from human life of today. However, there
continue to be episodes of shocking news.
Prior to examining the three earlier specified concerns,
brief consideration is given to the words shock and news.
A shock can be caused by unanticipated events, threatening information, and disruptive occurrences. It can quickly
create drastic physiological changes in the human body;
some individuals respond by loud outcries, others by
shedding tears, and a segment by withdrawing from normal
interpersonal association. Yet these and other types of
responses are mere manifestations of the human attempt to
cope with shocking news.
The second background concept is news. This word
refers to the collection, preparation, and dissemination of
information. Numerous are the locations from which news
is collected. In view of the widespread scope of new
gathering activities, it seems appropriate to use this word
as an acronym, by definition refers forming a word from the
first letter from each of the successive parts that make up
the unit; an example is DFACS, a word that refers to the Department of Family and Children Services. News,
following this format is make up of The North, The East,
The West, and the South; hence, news refers to information
gathered from those four directions.
Against these remarks on shock and news, attention
will now be directed to the earlier specified components of
the subject, the first of which is – shocking news on the
national level. Just the past week many Americans were
commemorating the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on
December 7, 1941. The nations losses included over 2,000
military personnel, five battle ships, an massive destruction
of property. That surprise attract led to American declaring
war on Japan.
The second national socking news is known as 9/11,
and event in which terrorists, using highjacks planes
brought down the Twin Towers, crashed into the Pentagon
building, but the brave passengers on one of the four planes
successfully caused it to crash short of the intended
destination. Beloved as devastating as were the actuality
of those shocking events, they fall short of the “Rapture”,
or return of Christ to the earth. Hence, the Bible offers a
somber challenge – to watch and pray for no one knows
the day of time when the Son of man shall appear. This
admonition leads to the second level of shocking news;
it is that of a personal nature. Early last week, there was
a television account of a renting family receiving shocking
news when members of the local sheriff’s department
appeared at their apartment with orders to start moving
immediately. The couple produced a copy of the current
rental check, but to no avail.  It was informed that the out
of town owner had allowed that rental complex to fall into
foreclosure. Sadly, there was noting short of moving that the
couple could do. Obviously, that type of personal shocking
news was a nerve wracking, energy draining, and nearly
immobilizing human movement. That incident is but one of
the innumerable types of personal shocking new, a few of
which are life threatening illness, receiving a pink slip at the
work place, loss of a family member, being an accident
victim. Although the personal shocking news can take its
total on the persons’s stability, it must always be
remembered that the Bible teaches one to call upon him
( The Lord ) in the seasons of his/her troubles ). This spiritual
consolation leads to the final type of shocking news which
occurred over two thousand years age; it was the news that
the virgin Mary received regarding her destiny to conceive
and bear a child and shall call his name Jesus. She was
obviously baffled and likewise disturbed by the shocking
news. First, she knew that the exiting biology of
reproduction required sexuality involving a male and a
female. Next, she knew that she had not so engaged and,
thirdly, she was aware of her engagement to Joseph
and the embarrassment that Joseph would encounter. She,
also, knew the privilege that Joseph had to write her a
bill of divorce according to the laws of that time. That
provision is recorded in Matthew 1:19 “The Joseph…being
a just man, and not willing to make her a public example,
was minded to put her away for privily.” Beloved, he did
think about it so seriously that “…and angel of the Lord
appeared unto him in a dream…” and explained the
situation to Joseph. He accepted the divine explanation and
enjoyed a blissful life with Mary and Jesus that lasted until
announced that he must be about his Father’s business.
Luke 2:49. Admittedly, His reply was shocking news for
Joseph and Mary. May God bless you not only during this
Christmas season, but for the remainder of your earthly
sojourn.  Amen,

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