What a year of change 2020 has been and as someone said, “it’s all ended in tiers!!”
In case you haven’t ever noticed it, the Christmas story is all about change. A baby comes into the world and changes everything: there are angels appearing, people travelling all over the place and every person’s life in the Christmas story changed!
Are you good at embracing change? Or are you a planner who likes to know what is coming? There are many different types of change – permanent or temporary change, good or bad change, change now or change in the future…. The reality is that most of us are more excited about changing our situation than changing ourselves.
In the Christmas story, Joseph found out that his girlfriend Mary was pregnant with a ‘God baby’ and didn’t know what to do. Did he divorce her or run away? An angel came and spoke to Joseph saying,
‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you are to give him the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins’ Matthew 1:20-21.
Why do you think it was an angel that delivered the message? God wanted Joseph to accept what was happening even if he couldn’t control it! We like to make change happen. We find it difficult to manage change that we didn’t get a vote on – like all of us living in some form of lockdown for the last nine months.
Joseph had to accept what God allowed – Mary was pregnant with a ‘God baby’, he was not the father, he had to carry that shame and misunderstanding…
Does God want you to accept something this Christmas season? A phase of your life that you are entering? A challenge you are facing which doesn’t seem fair? A limitation on your life that isn’t going away? The truth is it’s very difficult to accept the change when you don’t get to effect the change.
God is good and sovereign over all – the challenge is to accept and trust that God is at work in your life in all the uncertainties and change we are living through, just like Joseph.
‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways my ways declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’ Isaiah 55: 8-9
Written by Mark Waterfield, Pastor at Hope Church Newham