Jesus was not quarterbacking his own birth. The Father arranged with Mary and Joseph for this to happen. The Holy Spirit came upon Mary and she conceived Jesus. And then it was up to them to care for him in utero. It was up to Mary to eat well and take care of herself. It was up to Joseph to get them to Bethlehem. Jesus put himself in a position where it would be up to others to get him safely delivered, to cut the umbilical cord, to keep him warm and safe in those critical hours.
It seems an awfully risky thing, considering why and how badly we needed redeeming, to give us a role in the accomplishment of that redemption.
But it’s not an indication of how careless or sloppy Jesus was about his incarnation that he afforded us a role to play in it. As it turns out, it’s kind of a theme with him. I wouldn’t say Jesus trusts us. He shouldn’t.
But he involves us and gives us real, meaningful roles to play in the unfolding of his Kingdom.
Maybe it’s like when you invite a child to help you make the Christmas cookies. It’s not that you think the four year old is a good cook. But you believe yourself to be a good enough cook to compensate. You expect that you can fish out the pieces of egg shell. And that it’s worth it.
He believes we’re worth it!
1 Corinthians 12:12-13
Prayer: Lord, I thank you for making use of Mary and Joseph. More than that I admire you for the way that you put yourself in their hands. It motivates me to trust you at least as much as you ever trusted them. Forgive me for the times I have not trusted you and help me to do better.
Song: Come and Stand Amazed, by Citizens. Citizens was one of the “house” bands at Mars Hill Church in the Pacific Northwest. The music from these bands and that church is complicated for us by the fact that Mars Hill was an unhealthy and even toxic church and thousands of people are still grappling with the legacy of abuse and trauma that they experienced there. And yet, these lyrics do an amazing job of capturing all of the paradoxical things about Jesus’ arrival in Bethlehem and listening to you can’t help being moved.
Furnace Brook Wesleyan Church Blog