Weekly Sermon
Delivered By
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr.
Delivered On
December 17, 2017 at 10:45 AM
Subject
The Shocking News
Description

 

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 2017 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
p. 2
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

p. 3
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

p. 4 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. It occurred in the political arena in 2017
when the news media disseminated the shocking news
that Donald Trump had been elected as President of the
United States of America. Varied have been and continues
to be the realities of an uncharted live and safety of both
Americans and the peoples of the world at large. Sadly, we
are bombarded by incessant tweets, the emerging of a great
divide of the American population, and an ongoing apostasy
p. 5
in our national religiosity.  Without passing a judgement on
or submit a proposal to rectify the shamble in which our
nation is “broken”, I merely call attention to the biblical
remedy is found in 2nd Chron. 7:14 “If my people…
The second “ socking news ” is personal but with wide
spread implications; it was recently publicized in the
national news. Essentially, it involved an incident in which
incident in which renters, with “paid up accounts” were
notified with immediate evictions. They presented
their current rental payment receipt, but were informed
that the owner had sold or lost possession of the complex;
hence, the they were obligated to move or have their
possessions removed by legal authorities. Beloved, that
was shocking news! The occupants, largely Chinese and
many elderly, were shown in video looking baffled, hurt,

 

p. 6
despondent, and helplessness. Can you imagine their
situation? Certainly, facing eviction, yet current with
their rent, many of ethnic origin, and no clear options to
pursue!!! That, in my judgment, was shocking news. Yet
it falls 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
p. 7
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 to
the virgin Mary received regarding her destiny to conceive
p. 7
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.

 

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