In the lead up to Christmas, it is not surprising that I have been reflecting on the events surrounding the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.
It struck me as I re-read the account of Mary and Joseph that they had an extremely challenging call upon their lives! At one level it was certainly an amazing privilege and honour to carry, birth and raise the promised Messiah. After all, this child was like no other before or since!
To be the custodians and stewards of God’s most precious and valuable gift to the world, the subject of a millennia of prophetic unction and a much anticipated Messiah, must have been a lot to process. It was an extraordinary call.
Yet at another level, this call was a costly one for Mary and Joseph. For instance, it cost them their reputations; Mary fell pregnant while they were engaged, and Joseph knew he was not the father of the child. It cost them their comfort and to some extent their dignity; Mary gave birth in a stable. It cost them freedom of movement; they had to flee Bethlehem to live as refugees in Egypt to escape Herod’s infanticide purge. Despite all of this they continued to say ‘yes’ to God’s call on their lives, and I for one am grateful that they did!
I am sure that you would agree, from your own personal experience, that saying yes to God’s call can be costly.
While we might not have suffered the same level of deprivations that Mary and Joseph did, I am sure we have all had moments through the year where we might ask ourselves, “Is it worth it?” “Why does it have to be so difficult?” or “Should I be doing something else?” Despite the difficulties, I am convinced that saying ‘yes’ to God in obedient faith is worth it!
I am encouraged by the apostle Paul’s assessment of the good life that comes from the obedience of faith:
“I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18).
So, whatever faithfully saying ‘yes’ to God’s call on your life in this season has meant for you, we may all echo Mary’s courageous commitment:
“Behold the servant of the Lord, do with my life whatever you will.”
I pray that you all enjoy a very blessed Christmas, and that God would bless you and your families with a safe and prosperous New Year as you continue to faithfully steward all HE has called you to.