I truly thought I would be better about writing on this blog. Since I just set a blog up for Riesa, I have been re-inspired! Yesterday was the start of the Advent season. If you have never followed an Advent devotional plan, I encourage you to try it. It is far more than just counting down the days...it is heart preparation. I will use it to inspire me to write a bit. Here's a thought for the week:
It has been said that "Life is what happens while you are making other plans." The plans and activities of Christmas too often become our focus. Preparing our hearts for God's plans is a beautiful part of Advent. Have you ever considered the life interruptions of the folks in the 'Christmas story'?
Consider for a moment Zechariah and Elizabeth. I was delighted to learn that one translation of Zechariah's name means "God remembers" and a translation of Elizabeth's is "His Oath." The nation of Israel had endured 400 years of silence from God. In that void were this faithful couple...Zechariah and Elisabeth...living out their confidence in God. They were humble, faithful servants trusting in the God of their ancestors. The angel's announcement of God's plan for their lives brought a bit of disbelief and even fear to these godly people. Like Zechariah & Elizabeth, we can get comfortable in our planning and forget to expect great things from our great God!
Then, of course, we have Joseph...a nice Jewish man betrothed to a young girl who tells him she is pregnant but innocent from any immorality. Again we see a godly man...a man more concerned about honoring God than protecting his own honor. As Joseph plans to move on with his life as honorably as he can, the angel appears to him to remind him of God's plans from ages past. The fear and doubts of Joseph's situation pale as he contemplates the possibility of being a part of God's long-prophesied Messiah! Our fears and doubts can be put to rest when we embrace our heavenly Father's plans for us as well!
Finally we have the awesome example of Mary. This young girl has a secure future planned in her mind. She knows whom she will marry and what her future holds as a righteous woman of God in Nazareth in that day and age. Then an angel steps in and announces a change in plans that could cost Mary her life; stoning was the punishment for an unwed pregnant youth. While the Bible tells us Mary trembled at the angel's appearance, we do not hear that she was in fear for her life or that she feared Joseph's reaction. She simply focused on her great God and uttered the lines we can seek to adopt as our motto...'Let it be unto me as the Lord wills.'
So our challenge for this blessed season: May we live our lives in faithful, righteous steps as Zechariah and Elizabeth lived faithfully trusting in the God who promises to never forsake us. And let us respond to the plan changes and interruptions of life with the humble faith of Joseph and Mary trusting in the sovereignty of our great God!