God’s Christmas Shopping List – Pastor Richard Chogo

Christmas is a time of shopping around. It is a time of great offers, it is a time of buying gifts for each other and people prepare for Christmas, and sometimes they do so for months before Christmas. Holiday packages are sold out long before April and people save just for Christmas they go out of their way to make plans for Christmas. In certain civilizations people have what they call a ‘Christmas shopping list…. For some people there are items that must be in the list….

If you had a Christmas shopping list for this Christmas what are three things that must be in that list?

A shopping list in many ways represents PREPARATION for Christmas, did you know that before the very first Christmas God the father thoroughly prepared for the that great moment when Jesus would be born? Allow me to suggest to you that God prepared well and in–fact He had a shopping list for the very first Christmas. I would like to invite us to sample this shopping  list…….

Matthew 1:1-16

A close examination of this “shopping list” or genealogy of Jesus reveals some cultural anomalies in presenting a decent genealogy…….

  1. The first anomaly was inclusion of women. Gentile for that matter.

It is important to note that any decent Jew took pride in their genealogy; It showed their pedigree, it showed their status in society. A quick reference to the several genealogies in scripture especially in the OT will reveal that the Jewish society was a Male chauvinistic society where only men would be mentioned in fact in the Jewish culture men would be heard thanking God that they were not born a woman, or a Gentile. The prevalent culture did not allow for women to be mentioned as part of a serious genealogy. But Matthew(who came from a strict Jewish background) under divine inspiration decides to against the norm to populate the genealogy of the greatest of all JEWS with several women. By insisting on the inclusion of women in this list what message was God sending  about the composition of this all important list of those He had sought to use to bring to birth His most important plan for Humanity?

  1. The second anomaly  was the thorny issue of Reputation…….and their past lives

Any decent Jew would pride in having people of great repute in their genealogy , however it must have been terribly uncomfortable for Mathew to hear the Holy Spirit whisper some names…..Tamar????(Genesis 38)…Rahab????(Joshua 2)….. Ruth????(Ruth 1 & 2)…… Uriah’s wife???(2 Samuel 11)…..Tamar was scandalous….Rahab was a prostitute(she was no street hooker…..she ran a house) Ruth was a Moabites-they were despised by Israelites because they were of a shameful heritage (Lot and his daughters)

Allow me to suggest that the above anomalies give rise to a challenge; I will invite us to engage our imagination for a moment; Imagine if God made the mistake of setting up a vetting board to choose who will be included in this all important list….

The problem with most of us is that whenever we are in a position to vet people or examine people we always focus on their negative aspects (the vetting of the cabinet secretaries, the vetting of the judges and magistrates) imagine if some of the people we’we’ve mentioned would undergo vetting; Thank God He did not set up a committee to Vet this ladies

Three things I am grateful for over this Christmas story…….

  1. God did not consult a group of people to decide who to include and who to exclude in His “A-list” for the first Christmas……
  2. God did not consult the culture of that time to decide who to include and who to exclude in that “A-list”
  3. God did not consult their past in order to decide whether to include them or not…..

Thank God that He is still in the business of picking people for His A-List to fulfill His purposes in our time and day and if the above became candidates for God’s greatest project of all time then you and I can become candidates for God’s purposes and projects in our time and Day;

  • Despite what the prevalent culture says about your status, your tribe, your grades from High school, etc you can still qualify to be God’s instrument in this time and day. GOD DOESN’T HAVE TO CONSULT WITH YOUR CULTURE TO USE YOU!
  • Despite what people have to say about you, despite peoples opinion about you God can walk right past peoples opinion about you and can use you! GOD DOESN’T HAVE TO CONSULT WITH PEOPLE AROUND YOU TO USE YOU! You were first God’s idea before you become people’s opinion
  • Despite what your past says about you, you can still qualify for God’s A-list today. God doesn’t call the qualified He qualifies the called. God doesn’t have to consult your past to include you in the fulfillment  of His purposes. God doesn’t want to consult with your past He wants to deal with your past.

The one thing that is clear about all these women is that they all were uniquely positioned in such a way that they appeared in the A-list. Had Tamar not been part of Judah’s household however scandalous it might have been……Rahab, if she had not helped the spies from Israel……if Ruth had not insisted on following Naomi in as much as she was not under obligation…..Bathsheba became part of David’s household through circumstances that were almost beyond her control-sometimes what we consider unfortunate or a grave mistake doesn’t have to bury our prospects of destiny.

Where it is possible may God help us to do our best to align with God’s position regardless of our past, peoples opinion or the prevalent culture. You cannot give up on yourself. Position yourself in prayer and in serving God. Some of these ladies were willing to get out of their way to be positioned (this is not an excuse to sin) some of them were willing to take serious risks to be positioned….Tamar risked a lot to pretend to be a prostitute (It doesn’t justify her methods-but points to a principle) the wicked are more screwed in their wickedness than the righteous in their righteousness.

How are you positioned? How far can you go in pursuit of doing what is right? How much risk can you take to connect with God’s Agenda? By all means NECESSARY….because you are God’s Agenda for 2014……

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3 Responses to “God’s Christmas Shopping List – Pastor Richard Chogo”

  1. Rearingfor2014 Says:

    I was so blessed by that sermon. It was a word in season. Blessing God for Pst Chogo. It has changed my 2014 already. Bless God.

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  2. […] of Grace breaks down the genealogy of Christ as recorded in the book of Matthew. This week’s sermon in my church was about the same thing, the lineage of Christ; and so as we get into Christmas, this […]

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  3. Over the 5 years plus I have been at Mavuno, I have tried to bear with the once in a while secular songs because I truly love Mavuno. But Sunday’s Carol service was just too much and I completely disagreed with its content.

    Music takes people to 2 places:
    1. A place that they have been before – and I tell you some of those songs played were not from a good place and could encourage people to return to a place of sin and struggle
    2. A place that they have never been before – and the opportunity to form new habits / habits that they never ascribed to before can crop up

    By singing some of the secular songs that were chosen for Sunday’s concert, it gave the very musician who sang the songs a platform to sing on the stage. And the music is the whole package – the songs, the videos, the culture, the SPIRIT behind it – I mean the whole package. Imagine if we played some of those music videos during the service in place of the worship leaders?

    Mavuno has such amazing and gifted worship leaders and God can be able to use their talents to establish His kingdom. Because of its role in the worship direction of a Church (not just Sunday but in cultivating a lifestyle of prayer and worship) as well as its significance in the Kenyan society, I feel that Mavuno’s leadership should seriously consider the content and context of the music selected.

    Sema lost and disappointed!

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