Bible Verse for Today:
But when she saw him, [the Angel] she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Luke 1:29 NKJV
When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Matthew 2:3 NKJV
Here we are Christmas Day in Mississippi at my nephew’s house with his family and my brother who flew in from Colorado yesterday. Debbie and I drove here from Atlanta yesterday and we find ourselves in a house with family all with the same last name. That is a first for many Christmases.
However, this was not the plan. We were looking forward to our first Christmas in Atlanta joining with Stephanie and family and the rest of the Munn family. However, son-in-law Nathan tested positive for COVID and all of a sudden, we found ourselves “troubled” by the circumstances that threw a curve ball into our otherwise anticipated and well-planned Christmas.
Our original plans were to spend Christmas with family at Stephanie’s home and then travel to Mississippi for a visit with family here on Sunday. Suzanne, Steven’s wife, learning of our situation invited us to “come on down” and join them for Christmas Day.
So, we made some quick adjustments. Packed our clothes, stopped by Stephanie and Nathan’s home (Nathan is sequestered in the basement) to open some gifts ahead of schedule and then head to Madison, Mississippi arriving Christmas Eve night.
This interruption in our plans caused to me think of the first “Christmas” and the events recorded in the Bible. The narrative in Matthew and Luke is filled with events that were “troubling.” Disruptions. Sudden changes in plans. Angelic visitation and supernatural dreams.
Mary was troubled, Joseph was in distress, Herod was troubled. (And when Herod is not happy…no one is happy!) The shepherds were frightened by the light the shattered the darkness. Joseph and Mary had to make a difficult, unplanned trip to Bethlehem, only to find crowded streets and filled hotels. But in it all God was in control, working out His divine plan so that scripture would be fulfilled and that believers down to this day can understand, as Benjamin Franklin reminded this patriot colleges, “God governs the Universe.” God’s Word can be trusted. His plans will prevail.
No, I am not viewing our sudden change in Christmas plans as part of a divine orchestration of events. But only an opportunity for me to stop and consider how in the midst of the nostalgic, romanticized, mystical notions around modern Christmas (which we do all enjoy), the reality is that Christmas reminds us of real life. Challenges. Questions. Hardships. Fear. Disruptions.
So, if this Christmas finds you in situations that are not of your choosing and less than ideal, you can be assured that God is still with you in the middle of the “mess.” The most powerful words of one of my favorite Christmas songs O Holy Night, contains the phrase, “He knows our needs, to sorrow He’s no stranger.”
May you experience His comfort and joy this Christmas Day.