The Road to Bethlehem | Pastor Mac Hammond The Road to Bethlehem | Pastor Mac Hammond | December 11, 2022 Recap:It’s that time of year where we lean into a few particular passages of the Bible—and yes, it’s the Christmas story! Year after year, we can read the Christmas story and be reminded of the truths surrounding God’s redeeming love. This year, Pastor Mac started his Christmas series focusing in on Mary and her road to Bethlehem. She was expectant with the Son of God physically, but she also was a representation of how we can become expectant with the seed of God’s Word and bring forth God’s promises into this world. Dive Deeper:Mary was expectant with the promise of God that she would bring the Son of God into this world, and she should call Him Jesus. This expectation was what brought her through the months of pregnancy. It is what brought her through the road to Bethlehem, and it was kept her right until the moment Jesus was born. She expected God’s Word to become a reality, and it did. You, too, have been given the seed of God’s Word in your heart. You have a promise that God has given to you for your life, and the more you focus on God’s Word and His promises, the more you will expect to see them in your life. Mary’s road to Bethlehem wasn’t easy. In fact, it was much harder than we can imagine, given the many forms of transportation we have now. Traveling by foot and with a donkey for days would have been mentally and physically exhausting, but God’s promise surely helped her keep things in perspective. You, too, can do as Mary did. You don’t have to be swayed by the negative circumstances or the difficulty of the journey you are facing. You can trust that God’s Word is true and His promises will manifest in your life. In essence, you’ll receive the promises of God if you stay on the road to Bethlehem! Stay in expectation that the promises of God will be realized, and don’t fall sway to the enemy’s attempt to get you to move from your belief. Know that God is faithful. Stay expectant that you will see it come to pass by focusing more on God and His Word than the circumstances around you. Read About It:Luke 1:26–38 KJVAnd in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. Luke 2:1–7 KJVAnd it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 2 Corinthians 4:17–18 KJVFor our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. Discussion Questions:1. What is your favorite part of the Christmas story?2. What does the Christmas story show that we can expect from God?3. How does our faith impact our expectancy?