Merry Christmas Friends,
I count it a privilege to write a weekly article for the readers of the Nashville Graphic. It is my desire that my publications will encourage, challenge, and draw us closer to our Creator – God.
Beginning with the Advent of 2017, I’ve been studying, praying, and delivering messages from the Gospel of Luke. Each time I read and meditate upon the God-inspired Scriptures, I learn something new.
Have you ever considered how God changed the trajectory of life for folks like Elizabeth, Zechariah, Mary and Joseph? The first two are advanced in age, yet God decided to bring forth the one (John the Baptist) who would precede the Messiah from the womb of an elderly lady. Here we have two older adults who’ve probably assumed that God has not heard their pray for a child, and now that they’ve arrived in the later years of their life, they will try to honor God as best they know how and take care of one another as best they can because a child was just not in God’s plan for them.
But when Gabriel arrived, everything changed. God changes things!
Elizabeth had long passed her child-bearing years, and Mary was going to have a baby without having sexual relations with a man. What do you mean? Elizabeth and Zechariah were devout people, yet what God spoke through the angel Gabriel seemed impossible – and I suppose it would seem impossible for many devout Christians today.
Let’s return to this young virgin girl named Mary. She’s from Nazareth, and that in and of itself creates a problem. One theologian writes, “Mary was a nobody from a nothing town in the middle of nowhere.” And if that’s not enough of a hurdle to overcome, we have the real dilemma that she’s not been with a man. How do you explain a teenage, virgin girl being “with child?”
Again, God sent Gabriel with a message for Mary that would not only change her life but also the life of a man named Joseph. Once again God changes things!
If you’re the person who doesn’t like change, this creates another real problem.
Like Elizabeth, Zechariah, Mary, and Joseph, we too may not be expecting God to intervene in our lives – especially with this magnitude. But quite often God does not do His work in our lives the way we anticipate. And perhaps this is why we might be missing a powerful movement of God in our day – we don’t expect that He will.
Gabriel said to Mary in Luke 1:37-38, “with God nothing is impossible” and Mary in turn responded, “Behold I am a servant of the Lord. Let it be to me according to your word.”
Maybe you have a well laid out plan for your life. It could be a plan related to education, your profession, your family, your finances, your retirement years, or the church you attend. Can God intervene in your life and disrupt your plans? Better yet, because God knows best, do you welcome God’s activity in your life whatever it might be? God intervened in a few lives in the story of Jesus’s birth and it changed not only their lives, but the lives of countless others even to this day. God will change things!
In Christ Alone!
Carlyle Hall, Jr.