Even in our trials we can trust in God
By the Rev. Ronald Green
"Joseph went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the City of David called Bethlehem. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child" (Luke 2:4, 5).
I am sure all of us are anticipating a safe and happy holiday season. I know many songs and stories will be shared about the Little Town of Bethlehem. Tucked away in our hearts and minds, we memorize the words to the song "away in a manger, no crib for a bed" or how bright the stars shined on the "Holy Night." Many shouts will ring "Jesus is the reason for the Season!" Then Christmas is gone, we usher in the New Year with resolutions and then somehow, all is put off until another season rolls around.
First of all, Jesus is the reason for all seasons. As we usher in this Christmas and New Year, let us be reminded of the "Road to Bethlehem."
Going from Nazareth to Bethlehem meant three days of walking dusty, rocky roads, three days of sleeping outside on the hard, cold ground for a woman late in pregnancy. Surely, it is not a journey Mary wanted to make. It was a journey from comfort to suffering, from charity to ambiguity, from the known to the unexpected. However, it was a journey Mary had to make.
We are about to venture into Christmas and New Year 2011. We don't know what to expect; we are venturing into the unknown.
Let us be reminded that, like Mary, sooner or later, life takes us all down the road to a "Spiritual Bethlehem." Circumstances spin out of control, and life does not go as we expect. We find ourselves at a place we never intended to be. We ask God, "Why?"
Mary carried within her the life of God, yet that life did not magically transport her above her circumstances or suffering.
We, too, carry the life of God within us. If we are faithful to the call of the life, there will be times when we travel roads that we will not choose, to places where we may not want to go. But the destination is a place of new life, of beginnings, of promises fulfilled.
I want to share this prayer I read from my daily devotional, Prayer: "O God, no matter where you take us on the journey, help us to reveal you to those we encounter on the way. Thank you, that even in times of trial, we can trust in your love for us." Amen.
Rev. Ronald O. Green is a Victoria area minister.