Today’s blog post has been written by Peter Davey.
Life turned upside down!
As we approach Christmas 2019 and before any presents are unwrapped there is no doubt that there will be many who have been pleasantly surprised and others who will be dismayed by the result of the December election.
The biblical account of the birth of Jesus is studded with people whose lives have been turned ‘upside down’ in one way or another.
Mary has spent months coming to terms with an incredulous angelic visitation, perplexing and frightening bodily changes, turmoil as she waited for Joseph’s response and the prospect of being a disgraced outcast with her life in danger. (Luke 1:26-35)
Joseph must have been stunned to learn of Mary’s condition and grappled with the contradiction he felt as he considered her revelations; could he / should he believe her? As he pondered a way out whereby Mary would not be disgraced he too had an angelic visitation confirming Mary’s account. (Matt 1:18-25)
Zachariah & Elizabeth
Zachariah and Elizabeth are at the other extreme. For years they had struggled with the ‘disgrace’ of their persistent failure to conceive. Undoubtedly they had faced a plethora of opinion and accusation regarding the situation. Now they had come to an age when it was least possible to happen! At this point Gabriel surprised Zachariah at work during his once-in-a-lifetime visit into the holiest sanctuary of the temple. At first ‘paralyzed with fear,’ he returned home ‘unable to speak’! (Luke 1:8-25) However, “it wasn’t long before Elizabeth conceived” and then “went off by herself for five months relishing her pregnancy” (Luke 1.23-25)
Here was someone to whom Mary could confide her amazing events; no wonder she travelled to see Elizabeth as soon as she heard about her pregnancy. As they greeted each other they both were filled with utter exuberance as the Holy Spirit filled them and they prophesied together (Luke 1:39-55)
Who can fail to be captivated by the account of the shepherds? (Luke 2:8-12) Just as they had settled the sheep for the night everything was transformed! “Terrified” might be something of an understatement for their initial response so no wonder the angel said: “Don’t be afraid…” Slowly they were beginning to take it all in when the one angel suddenly became a “huge angelic choir singing God’s praises”. “As the angel choir withdrew into heaven” (15) wouldn’t you love to have heard what the shepherds said to each other? Can you imagine their excitement as they went to Bethlehem and found everything “just as they’d been told” (20)?
What about you?
What is your situation today – are you perplexed, disappointed, scared, frustrated, unsure about what is happening around you?
What does the future look like to you – are you filled with hope, despair, anxiety, foreboding or looking forward with joy?
What if God wants to lift your focus from the temporary to the eternal, to change your security from the day-by-day cycle of predictable events to the vista of God’s eternal security and power?
Are you willing for God to surprise you and transform your life in order to fulfil His purposes for you?
May your 2020 be filled with new vision and purpose!
May 2020 be a year of God’s fulfilled promise in your life!
Peter has used The Message translation for all Bible references. Peter is married to Jill and together they have been in Christian ministry since the early days of their marriage. They have four grown up children and dozens of grandchildren and are a great addition to the Jubilee family in their example and wisdom of years.