Monday, December 23, 2019

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her." When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.

Christmas – the birth of Jesus – that we celebrate this week is one of the biggest events in human history. Just think, through the birth of Jesus, the powerful God of the universe became present among us as one of us.  Divinity entering the world on the floor of a stable. Amazing.

Mary and Joseph were two very simple people.  A country girl and a lowly carpenter engaged to be married who lived in a very insignificant town in the Middle East.  No one would ever expect these two to bring God to the world.

Why did God do it this way? 
What’s the message in that for us?
Why was Jesus born to humble people and live such a simple life?

The answer has to be for our sake. So that we can be confident God understands our challenges; so that we can trust him.

The above Gospel story is all about trusting God.

Mary had to trust that even though she was a  virgin, she would give birth to a child by the Holy Spirit.  Mary did trust, and it was done to her, as the angel said. Joseph had to trust that Mary's pregnancy was indeed by the Holy Spirit. Even though Joseph could not understand how this could be possible, he put total faith and trust in the angel’s message to him. The point of the story of Mary and Joseph, the reason God entered the world the way he did, is because God wants us to try to be like them. They are our role models. He wants us to do what Joseph & Mary did.

Things will happen in our lives we never anticipated, as it did for them.  We can despair when the challenges come. We can question God.  We can worry about everything, or we can trust.  Trust that our God in heaven cares and has a plan. Mary and Joseph trusted God with their whole heart, and because they said YES to God, Jesus was able to come into the world, and everything changed.

Our mission in this world is just the same as theirs!  The message of our Gospel today for us is that we, too, must make that same act of trust as Joseph & Mary. We also must choose to welcome Jesus into our lives. And like Mary and Joseph, God has a plan for each of us. God sends each person into this world with a special message to deliver with a special act of love to bestow. No one else can speak our special message to the people in our lives. No one else can bestow our special act of love. Like Mary and Joseph, we are being invited to bring Christ into the world. If we don’t speak our message or perform our act of love, a part of God's plan goes unfulfilled; a part of God’s glory goes unseen.

None of us are too young or too old or too weak to take up the plan God has for us. That’s the message of Jesus’ humble birth. Regardless of who we are, what we have, or don't have, we have a mission in this world. It was given to us by God himself.

This call from God, besides requiring that we trust God, requires us to trust in ourselves just as Mary and Joseph did that day. We must trust in our own goodness. We must trust in our own value. We must trust that God made us for some special purpose.

Listen to where He leads you – you won’t be disappointed.