Saturday, December 3

Journey Through Advent: Can you say yes?

At church this month the sermon series is titled "Say Yes to the Mess."  Cute, huh?  But underneath the catchy title is a much deeper message, one that gets to the very core of Christianity.  Can we say yes?  Yes to God?  Yes to all He has freely given?  Yes to all He holds in His hands and in His heart to continually give?  This evening as I read my daily scripture reading (more on that in a moment) I was struck by something.  Our pastor had discussed this last week, but it became even more real to me as I read the words in Matthew. 

Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.  But while he thought about these things, behold an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit...then Joseph being aroused from sleep, did as the angel fo the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife."
Matthew 1:19-20, 24, NKJV

Joseph could have easily said, "This isn't what I signed up for.  It's too complicated.  Too messy.  This doesn't even make any sense.  Why would God ask me to do this?"  And he could have walked away.  But he didn't.  He chose to say yes, in spite of what looked to be complete insanity.  As I read this passage, another scripture immediately came to mind.

There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.
Proverbs 14:12, NKJV

I've heard lots of people say this phrase:  "It's all about balance."  I've even said that myself, lots of times.  But do you think to Joseph it looked "balanced" to marry a young woman, pregnant out of wedlock?  And not only that, but she was claiming to be pregnant with the Messiah, the One they had heard prophesied about their entire lives!  I'm sure to Joseph that looked like anything but balance.  But if Joseph had followed natural instincts, if he had listened to his own mind, he would have said "no" to participating in the event that divided history and fulfilled thousands of years of prophecy when the Word became flesh.

The truth is that far too often, I fly on auto-pilot.  I rely on catch phrases to guide decisions instead of sound theology.  I use my experience as a guide instead of relying on His word to be my lamp.  I look to others for "wise counsel" instead of seeking the Counselor Himself.  But I believe in my heart that there's a better way, a higher way, one where my thoughts begin to align with His, one where my heart beats in sync with His and my eyes see the world through His. 

I mentioned my daily reading plan.  Cami over at tidbits told me that she's reading through the Gospels between now and Christmas.  Although I'm still following along in my Advent resources, I love the idea of focusing on those four simple New Testament books which discuss our Lord and His earthly ministry.  So, I'll post my reading plan for the week when I post my Sunday Advent devotional.  I might not stick to it exactly, but I'm listing it here, in case you're interested in following along.  I'm really looking forward to the next three weeks!  (This week the reading plan starts with Saturday, but from here on out, it will be listed Sunday through Saturday.)

I'd love to hear how you're observing Advent and all the ways God is speaking to you during this time!  If you have something to share, please don't hesitate to post a comment!

Blessings to you this Advent and Christmas season!


1 comment:

Angela said...

What a great post. Thank you for sharing. What a timely reminder to me that His ways and thoughts are so above mine. I pray that His light would be our guide this day.

btw...I'm currently reading through the Psalms and as a family we are reading the scriptures that are being recommended in "Truth in the Tinsel"