Recently I have been looking at the Christmas story as recorded in the gospels. (Isn’t that what we are supposed to do this time of year?) Two lines in Matthew chapter one jumped out at me. V.18, “This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about…” and then v.22, “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet.” There are two things I see in this. First, God had a plan long before it ever took place. He spoke of this plan through the prophets hundreds of years before the plan unfolded. He had a plan to redeem man that cut through all the ritual. He had a plan that would bring man into a right and personal relationship to Himself. He carried out and fulfilled that plan through the birth of Jesus Christ. Secondly, to carry out and fulfill that plan He had to have willing participants. He needed those people who were willing to accept His plan even knowing that it would require sacrifice, inconvenience, and would also bring some scorn from many people. Mary being willing to carry and birth Jesus, Joseph willing to be ridiculed for accepting Mary as his wife, shepherds willing to forsake their responsibilities of guarding their sheep, and wise men willing to make a lengthy journey to pursue answers to what was happening are just a few of the willing participants.
As you journey through these days of celebrating Christmas, I urge you to recognize that God has a plan for your life. You may not currently see it or even be living it. His plan for you begins with you recognizing that Jesus came to bring you forgiveness and salvation from your sins. And His plan continues as He unfolds how He wants a personal relationship with you so that you can live the abundant life He has for you. I urge you to slow down and consider that God has a plan for your life and consider committing to seeking to discover that plan and how it might unfold. And once you can accept that God has a plan for you, commit to being a willing participant. God will not force Himself on you but does invite you to come to Him and let Him unfold His plan for your life. Christmas is exciting! So is the plan God has for you! Be a willing participant!