History is HIS-story

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18 December 2017

Do you have your life planned out? What is the story you are planning to write over the next few years? Does it involve study? Work? Relationships? Today’s Gospel shares with us a fundamental truth to living the Christian life; it’s not about our story, but HIStory. It is so easy to get caught up in trying to control our circumstances, to plan out our lives to perfection. Joseph wasn’t perfect, but he understood God’s sovereignty, submitted himself to God’s will and became a part of the moment that changed history.

Joseph is faced with a heart-breaking dilemma. His life is in turmoil. He is betrothed to Mary, entirely in love with her. A man of honour and integrity, he is faced with a life-altering decision. His wife is somehow pregnant, and he doesn’t know what to do. To make things worse, she is saying the father of the child is God! Can you imagine the confusion, the many thoughts running through Joseph’s mind?

It is in this moment of chaos when Joseph’s story took a most unexpected turn that God speaks peace into his life. Grace leads to faith; faith leads to peace that rises above the chaos. The grace of God came in the form an angel, speaking to young Joseph in a dream. But it was Joseph’s faith that allowed his ears to hear the angel’s voice amidst the chaos that surrounded him.

It was this same faith that launched a new chapter in Joseph’s story, quickly allowing himself to follow his heart as “he took his wife home.”

Today, if the Lord was speaking to you, would you have the faith to allow grace to penetrate your heart? Would you be able to recognise the voice of peace amidst the chaos that surrounds you?

This Gospel is not just about grace working through Joseph, but the highest action of the grace throughout history. It is about the coming of the Emmanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’

This is the meaning of Christmas. Not Santa Claus, immaculately wrapped presents, eating until you (literally) burst or the annual game of Christmas cricket! It is about God, by an act of grace, coming into our chaos. The baby born in a manger, the baby in the manger, the child in his mother’s womb, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Mary, is the beginning of HIStory as we welcome the Prince of Peace among us.

This Christmas, God is offering you this same faith of Joseph. This gift of faith is given to you amidst the very human realities of birth, joy, struggle, confusion, and chaos. But if you receive the gift, it will provide you with a joy and peace that surpasses all understanding.

Christmas is a gift given, and a gift to be shared. Through our relationship with God, we receive the joy and peace of the Lord; it is up to you this Christmas share this with those you encounter and pray for the action grace into a world so desperately in need. How grateful are we, the Christian faithful, who have the faith to believe in this greatest Christmas gift that can be treasured forever?

Do not forget this Christmas time, and God is with us; God is with you. Allow yourselves to receive the gift of faith into your life, share in the peace and joy of the Lord and play your part in HIS-story.

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