A Passage and A Prayer 12/26/18

God’s Perfect Plan for Peace – A Difficult Path
“And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, since he was of the house and lineage of David, to be taxed with Mary his wife-to-be, being great with child.”  Luke 2:4-5

Doctors orders these days are, “No significant traveling after 34 weeks pregnant.” That is because the stress of travel can have adverse and negative impacts on mother and baby. Well, that was not a reality for Mary and baby Jesus. She traveled, “great with child.” Mary and Joseph journeyed to Bethlehem, symbolizing for all people that God’s perfect plan for peace follows a hard road. 

Christmas isn’t always an easy or care-free time of year. Finances might be stressing you out, or strained relationships. Lack of employment might completely shift your Christmas plans. The death of a loved one might have stopped you in your tracks. It can be a hard road this time of year. But Mary and Joseph prepared us for this. 

More than that, Jesus demonstrated it in his life. He came as a human, suffering want and need, needing to eat and depend on others. He gave up the glory of heave for the grind of human life. It is a hard road to peace. The road to peace took Jesus to a cross, where he carried our sins and sorrows and nailed them to the tree. The road to peace took Jesus to a tomb, where he buried death. Jesus rose to new life and has guaranteed peace for all people- but it was a hard road to get there. 

God might have put hardships in your path. Actually, he most certainly has. This is the way God chooses to work, and some of God’s best work is done in the midst of hardship. Practice endurance this Christmas season. Endure the journey. Hold on. Grab Joseph’s hand and walk the path to Bethlehem. Hold Mary’s hand in that stable as she labors. Watch God wrap himself in human flesh. Endure; it is a hard road to peace.

Dear Jesus, in the midst of the difficulties of this life, we ask that you come by our side and walk with us. You drew close, you took up residence with humankind, and you promise never to leave us or forsake us. Help us on the difficult path, and assure us of the eternal joy and peace that await us because we believe in you. AMEN.