ON THE JOURNEY

MICHAEL DUVAL, LEAD PASTOR

How’s your faith these days?  Is it solid?  Is it shaken?

 

In this Christmas season, with all the turmoil being experienced in our world, have you thought to yourself:  “I don’t feel God’s presence right now” or “I wonder if God has abandoned me”?

 

Faith is expressed by trusting God and moving forward even when we’re uncertain and can’t see how everything will work out.

 

Mary and Joseph evidenced a deep faith when they experienced the unexpected that dramatically altered the course of their lives. 

 

Mary was engaged to Joseph, excited about her future.  Then one night an angel appeared to her and pronounced a life-changing message—that she would conceive a child by the Holy Spirit and bring the Savior into the world!

 

She was unmarried.  Her pregnancy would be a scandal in the small town in which she lived.  Her family might disown her.  Joseph probably wouldn’t marry her.

 

Yet, with all those things on her mind, her response was remarkably faith-filled.  She said:  “Here I am, the Lord’s humble servant.  As you have said, let it be done to me.”  Luke 1:38a (VOICE)

 

Joseph, her fiancé, was also excited to be married.  When he learned Mary was expecting a child that wasn’t his, just imagine what must have gone through his mind.  His world was turned upside down.

 

An angel came to him in a dream and declared:  “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to wed Mary and bring her into your home and family as your wife.  She did not sneak off and sleep with someone else—rather, she conceived the baby she now carries through the miraculous wonderworking of the Holy Spirit.”  Matthew 1:20 (VOICE)

 

And how did Joseph respond to the news?  His response was also remarkably faith-filled.

 

Joseph woke up from his dream and did exactly what the messenger had told him to do:  he married Mary and brought her into his home as his wife (though he did not consummate their marriage until after her son was born).  And when the baby was born, Joseph named Him Jesus, Savior.  Matthew 1:24-25 (VOICE)

 

It’s amazing.  They both said: “Okay, God,” and moved forward.  They expressed their faith in God through their actions.  In life we can’t always control what happens to us, but we can control how we respond.

 

There are many things we cannot control this Christmas season, but we still can move forward in faith, trusting that God is with us and at work in ways we do not understand.

 

I hope we all will choose to embrace Christ this Christmas season, celebrating that God has sent into the world a Savior for broken and imperfect people like us.


-Michael