Two individuals are part of God’s plan. Noah, who found favour before God (v8), is called upon to build an ark to save his family and pairs of animals from a cleansing flood. Jesus, God who came as man, is linked through His ancestry all the way back to Adam (v23-38), the first man and is to save all the world.
Four individuals are part of God’s plan. Zechariah and Elizabeth, held as righteous before God, are to be the parents of John the Baptist who is to be the herald of the messiah Jesus (Luke 1: 13-17). Joseph and Mary too are called to be parents of Jesus (Luke 1: 30-33).. One the mother to a Holy birth and the other the ‘adoptive’ father to Jesus. The father through whom Jesus’ ancestral link to Adam is established.
During last December I was alerted, even diverted, to the individual roles we each play for God by a painting reproduced on Facebook. It depicted the family of three shortly after Jesus’ birth showing Mary lying exhausted propped up against a wall, the newborn Jesus lying in a straw filled basket and Joseph sitting looking at Jesus, his gaze transfixed on his newborn son. Just as we do after the miracle of birth has occurred close to us.
This scene so struck me as to remind me that while Christmas is a great secular and Christian celebration it could only have occurred with the obedience of Mary and Joseph and Elizabeth and Zachariah.
In the years to follow both these individual children, John born of man, Jesus born of God. go on to do God’s will, even unto worldly death. Faithfully and with Hope.
So today, You and I, are called to do the same. As with Noah, John, Jesus, and many many others, to do the same as they did in God’s grace.
Colossians 1:3-6 re minds us of this:
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people – 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel 6 that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world – just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.
Recently the Bible Society carried this comment following the death of I H Marshall who was promoted to glory in December last year. Here too is a story of an individual making a difference to one person’s life in an unusual way. Remembering I H Marshall.
While you and I might not be remembered in this way or serve God in such a conspicuous or public way as those few I’ve mentioned, we too are called to serve and seek to live in grace with our brothers and sisters and be ambassadors for Christ to those who do not yet know Him.
Finally, as you consider this blog and what challenges emerge for you as God’s individual can I encourage you to make that phone call or visit. Perhaps invite over or out for coffee that person you know who lives alone or in difficult circumstances. Perhaps they are even alone for the first time this silly season*. If you are one who is struggling with the silly season and matters that challenge you please make contact with those brothers and sisters you know and help break the silence that seems to unsettle many of us during this time.
A Prayer: Father, our Father, you who sent your Son Jesus to die for us and our sins, as the supreme sacrifice to reconcile us, your children, to You. We seek Your grace and strength as we renew ourselves for Your service. Help us to pray to You and listen to You through prayer. Help us to commit to and carry our those actions and roles that you ask of us faithfully and with grace as we seek to permit Jesus to be seen to others. At this time of year, bring to our minds and action those who might be looking for fellowship and support during this season. We ask these things in the name of Jesus our saviour and your Holy Spirit. Amen.
# There is a closed group FAC Facebook page if you are not already a member. Come and join us. Its located at FAC closed group Facebook page.
* The Silly Season – this unofficial time of year from December to January when many people are isolated from their regular contacts during Christmas and New Year closures. Often accompanied with conflict and financial hardship.. (Defined anecdotally and primarily by emergency service workers, emergency department staff and public transport operators.)