There Has Been A Change of Plans!

23 12 2017

Emmanuel -God With Us

I had been planning a Bible Study for our church Senior Adult group on the Christmas Story, with the title “A Messy Christmas”, when I saw a title, which caught my eye and imagination, as a much better title for my thoughts, than “A Messy Christmas”.  It was the title of a Message preached by Pastor Steven Furtick at Elevation Church a few years ago, “There Has Been a Change of Plans”.  (I am sorry Pastor Steven, that I cannot say, I have heard this message, but I promise I will go back and listen to it this Christmas Season.  I appreciate your preaching!)

So the Christmas Story starts at Galatians 4:4, “… But when the set time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman …”  The set time, and there was a coordination of people, lives events and History all culminating to fulfill the plan of God’s Master Plan, and the major characters in the plan were unaware of the vital part they were playing in the great story.

First, there was Zachariah and Elizabeth, devout godly people who had lived their whole lives following God and yet not having a child, even in their old age!  They receive the news that their world is going to be turned upside down, by the birth of a son, who was going to be the Forerunner to the Messiah.  From a quiet priestly life to cribs and diapers and baby toys – when they should be grandparents, instead being a Daddy and Mommy to a little boy John (the Baptist).  There has been a change of plans for you, Zechariah and Elizabeth!

Then there was Mary, a teenage girl, engaged to be married to Joseph a young carpenter, dreaming of her wedding and a humble but happy home and starting a family, when she is visited by an Angel, who announces to her that she is going to have a baby imminently, and the baby is going to be the long-expected Messiah, the Saviour of the world.  The baby was not going to be born with her union with Joseph, but supernaturally!  Yes, as a virgin!  Mary, there has been a change of plans for you!

Joseph, you are a just and righteous man and you are looking forward to your marriage to Mary, and to be a good husband to her, and to raise a family and provide for them with your carpentry business in Nazareth.  But Mary is going to have a baby, and she has not committed any sin against you, but is fulfilling God’s plan to be the earthly mother of God’s son, the Savior of the world.  Joseph you can be the earthly father of Jesus.  Joseph there has been a change of plans for you!

Then there were some shepherds watching over their flocks by night, in a field in the Judean hills, with no other thought than keeping themselves awake and warm, and keeping their flock safe from the predators and any thieves who would try to steal their sheep.  An Angel announces that they need to go and see a little baby that was born that night, who was laying in a manger, in a stable, much like the ones that their sheep would use.  A very familiar place!  But the baby was going to be the Savior of the world!  (He would be their Great Shepherd – a thought I had, free to you, no charge!)  This is not going to be another boring night, because, Mr. Shepherds, there has been a change of plans for you!

Finally lets look at another group of people.  They were not even living in Judea!  They were in a far of foreign land,  They were Astronomers, studying the movement of the stars and planets, and their significance to the times and seasons!  They see a unique star appear in the sky, which as they study carefully, they recognize it is heralding the birth of a King, a King of the Jews!  They feel compelled that they must make their journey, long and arduous to see this King and worship Him.  The preparations and the explanations to their families and friends and then the long trip to Bethlehem and back!  Wise Men, Magi, there has been a change of plans for you!

To each and every person involved in the First Christmas Story, it was not a “Holly Jolly Merry Christmas”!  It was Messy!  But they knew that Emmanuel – “God With Us”, was the One who was changing the plans for them!

To me, to you Christmas 2017 might be Messy, might be heart breaking, confusing and a lot of “Why’s” and “Why now’s” and “Why me’s”!  But we can know that Emmanuel – is God With Us!  Yes our plans may have changed but God is with us this Christmas – December 2017!   May you know the Blessing of HIS Presence with you this Season!


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24 12 2017
robert Wayne hodge

Praise the Lord for interrupting and changing my plans for my own life. Thank you for sharing this.

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