Some Final Ponderings

by Carolyn Hope

The past two weeks, we’ve observed several different pieces in the story of our Savior’s birth. We’ve read about shepherds, prophets, and angels. We’ve seen individual characters such as Elizabeth and Mary. There are many parts to play in such a momentous birth, a birth that shook the world.

I’d like to leave you this week with a few thoughts:

  1. God took the lowliest and the least and used them in mighty ways. Shepherds were outcasts; angels were often unseen; the prophets were rejected. Mary was ordinary; Elizabeth was old. Every character had multiple reasons for disqualification, yet God never considered those. He chose them, and He chooses you too. When God calls you, nothing can disqualify you. You yourself are enough for the journey He is leading you on.
  2. One ordinary night became an encounter. At an unexpected time and an unexpected place, God showed up. What started as a normal day became a day that changed history. You never know what today could bring. Stay expectant and stay hopeful. Wake up each morning eager to see all that God will do. He is working and moving on your behalf. Today could be the day that everything changes.
  3. God’s plan for your life is greater and more risky than you could ever imagine. Mary and Joseph’s calling to be the parents of the Christ was incredibly dangerous; yet they were never unsafe as they followed the Lord. There will be great risk in your story, and there will even be danger. Do not let those facts deter you or frighten you, for your God is with you through every moment. He will protect you and fight for you through it all.

I hope you have had a very Merry Christmas!

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Director: God

by Carolyn Hope

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” – which means, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:22-23)

A play, production, movie, or show would be nothing without its director. The director is the one who makes everything come together. The director has the vision that carries the project. It is he or she who leads all the various roles to create something greater than any one of them could do on its own.

God is an excellent Director. He cast the vision for the story of this world. The dream that came to life in Jesus’ time on earth was birthed in the heart of the Father. He had planned this divine entrance long ago, and He knew exactly what He was doing. Before the foundations of the earth were laid, He named His son. Immanuel, a name full of purpose. Immanuel, which means, “God with us.” For this is God’s heart: to be with us.

Every single character, every single role, was particularly picked by the Lord’s hand. He chose the Magi and the shepherds. He chose Mary. He even chose Joseph. When God chose Mary, He factored in the fact that Joseph was her betrothed, and that he was a righteous man who would take good care of her. Mary needed a strong man, and Jesus needed a good earthly father. The Lord provided that with Joseph even before He sent His son into the world.

In all the divine plans, there was not a single afterthought. From start to finish, every moment was precisely and perfectly produced.

This same Director, who left no detail out, is the one who directs your life. Your story too has been personally and passionately prepared by your Father. He is excited about the plans He has for you! You can rest in His promises and be at peace, knowing that He who began this good work in you will finish it (see Philippians 1:6). Your story is important, it is impactful, and it is beautiful. Let the Director of your heart lead you and guide you on a path of adventure.

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