It seems the way to ensure you will experience complications is to declare you will do a certain thing in a certain way. It has indeed been that way for me this week. Setting myself a goal to do a daily Christmas post for 12 days unleashed myriad setbacks to the fulfillment of said goal. I will not bore you with the details, but I assure you it has been frustrating.
So, with determination to redeem those days that were lost, here is post 2 on the topic of . . . . routine gone awry. Yes, that was what happened to Mary of Nazareth. To her espoused, Joseph. And to her parents, robbed of the joy of delight in a daughter's marriage (replaced with the shadow of shame and suspicion).
Christmas often finds us unprepared in some way - sometimes emotionally because we've been trudging through dark days; sometimes financially because we've been experiencing economic hardship; sometimes physcially because we've been battling an illness which leaves us fragile energy; sometimes spiritually because we've been enduring trials in our faith.
And Christmas often disrupts our normal routine; we are left to make room for events unplanned and guests unexpected, for divine detours in the path we prefer to walk during the holidays.
The noble thing to do is graciously accept and go forth, triumphant, to be blessed and bless others. But am I the only one who struggles with the attempt to be noble? Luke 1 records Mary's incredible acceptance; I am awed by it. Convicted as well. Did she ever falter in her faith? Did she have moments of struggle? Probably; but underneath was the determination to accept and adapt; to make room for this inconvenient, yet indescribable blessing she was being given.
Is your routine gone awry? Be prepared; blessings may follow. That's the pattern of Christmas - unexpected miracles along the way as we welcome Emmanuel - God with us.