Merry Christmas to you all and I hope you are enjoying your Boxing Day in front of the cricket, or avoiding it, whichever is your preference!
How did your Christmas go I wonder? Was it fun, was it chaotic, was it filled with wonder, or whingeing? Were there arguments or was it a friction-free Christmas (for once?) I’m guessing whatever your Christmas was, it didn’t meet your expectations … you know the plan, the way things are supposed to go, the little map in your head that says “this is what Christmas 2012, looks like”.
Isn’t it funny how we still think we are in control, we still think if we plan ahead and organise enough, life will go according to our plan.
I wonder how many times Joseph turned to Mary and said, “this isn’t how it’s supposed to be”? Maybe when they had to travel for the census, or when they couldn’t get a room, or when their new-born baby, hours old, had to sleep in an animal’s feeding trough. Maybe Mary yelled it out through the birth pangs in the stable.
She had every right to, she had been told she was carrying God’s son, she would at the very least have expected He would provide a bed for her and her child. But He didn’t and they survived, and Jesus not only survived, but despite his difficult beginning he thrived.
It definitely didn’t go according to plan for me, Little Miss was sick on Christmas Eve, and in the midst of the worry as to why she was so unwell, and the fact that we had to reorganise when we were going to church, and the decision as to what (if anything) to feed her, and (let’s be absolutely honest) the fear that she would be ill on Christmas day too and we’d have to stay home, I turned to Mr and said “this isn’t how it’s supposed to be, it’s Christmas Eve”.
And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the Grace of God was upon him – Luke 2:40 (NIV)
And you know I survived too, I had a little cry (as you do) and got on with changed circumstances, and I imagine that is what Mary and Joseph did too. Once again this Christmas, I had a reminder that I am not in control of the “meant to be”. There is someone much more competent than me who takes care of that, and for that I am forever grateful.