IS 7:10-14, ROM 1:1-7, MT 1:18-24
“The virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel” (IS 7:14)
#526 “To become a child in relation to God is the condition for entering the kingdom.205 For this, we must humble ourselves and become little. Even more: to become “children of God” we mu–t be “born from above” or “born of God”. Only when Christ is formed in us will the mystery of Christmas be fulfilled in us. Christmas is the mystery of this “marvelous exchange”
“Faith means believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse.” – Phillip Yancey
Connecting the dots of faith happens when we have this “aha!” moment when we see God’s preparation play out in our lives.
For Isaiah, he wouldn’t see Christ born, but he gives us a very specific direction of what will happen when the Messiah comes. Who gives birth to him, and that he will be called Emmanuel, which means, “God with us.” No chance there for us to get it wrong or question what we believe. Jesus Christ is true God and true man, not just a prophet or a teacher, but God incarnate.
The same goes for Joseph. Even though he questions what God has planned when he learns that Mary is pregnant and commits to leaving her, the Angel comes to offer reassurance. Joseph trusts that God will show him the way… help him connect the dots of this whole plan God has to use him.
Often in our life people can think a life of faith is easy for some over others. They are smarter, or have better friends, or even holier in some way; not true though. We all have to work at it each day and take the time to hear what God is saying to us so we can make sense of it all. It doesn’t mean we have the time, but we MAKE the time to spend in Scripture, or prayer, asking God to reveal to us what the purpose is of all we are going through or experience in this life
Our final characters in the story of the nativity are the shepherds. The least likely of guests who would be called to be the first visitors of the newborn King. Not the king they would expect, but the Christ child who would change everything. In earthly living, they would be the outcasts and the least educated. Still, God sees them as the humble, innocent, children of God, who should be blessed with this honor. Our relation to them, is even if we think we are not ready or worthy for a relationship with God, we need to see that from the start he wanted those who simply had the right heart to begin to set into motion the will of the Father.
Dear Lord, open my heart to see you at work. Even when I don’t feel worthy of your love or I feel lost in my own my mind, call me back to you so I can refocus on who you desire me to be. Just like the shepherds, help me find you where I don’t expect, so I can see what I am capable of being. ~Amen
In this new year of the church ahead, pray on for the revelation of past events, that will connect the dots of future plans God has for you. You can even meditate and focus on ones you can name now where God has protected you or even catapulted you forward by doing what you didn’t understand, but then you watched it play out.
Christ is asking you to be His image for the least likely of people who are being called to see Him through you. Make an effort with anyone who fits the following criteria to give them an opportunity for forgiveness, change, or encouragement.
- Invite friends or family to Mass or Worship with you. Take them out for a meal and talk about what moves you in faith to strive for a deeper relationship with God.
- Give an adversary the gift of intentional forgiveness this Christmas, then work to make amends.
- Find someone who you will help excel in the New Year by being their business mentor, or spiritual guide to help them grow in ways you know they can achieve.