As we venture into Advent this year, the world is filled with questions and uncertainty.
Where is God? Why is this happening? Is Jesus with me? What is there to celebrate?
How will I worship? When will life become normal again? And, of course “Who will be president, will I get to go back to work or school, will I get to see my family and friends, etc.?”
We have a sense of lack of control of our circumstances and a real sense that we don’t know what is coming. It reminds me a little of the feelings of many people going on a pilgrimage, a mission trip, and sometimes a vacation. They are departing for an unfamiliar location, they are not in control of their schedules, they don’t know who they will meet, where they will sleep, or what they will eat. We are all asking the ultimate questions, “Where Is God? Is He with me? Is God in control?”
Same Questions, Different Year
Think back approximately 2000 years ago. In a small village in a very small remote country, a young pregnant woman was betrothed to a man and she was carrying a child that was not his. Imagine Mary! She experienced all of these questions in profound ways.
The Mother of our Lord was given a mission, one which she could have been stoned to death for. A government mandated order sent her on a journey to Bethlehem just before she was to give birth to her son. Like us, Mary too had questions as she traveled into the unknown.
Where will we sleep? What will I eat? Where will I give birth? Who will be there to help me? How will we worship? Will my husband find work? The list could go on.
Trust in the Journey
God chose Mary and Joseph for his most important task and journey because he also knew that they would know and believe the following:
God was with them.
God would provide for them.
Jesus was with them.
Jesus would, and no matter the circumstances, Save His People.
Mary didn’t know how it would happen and I’m sure she was not expecting to sleep in an animal stable. God did not tell her it would be easy. He did not make it easy, but He was with her. He provided in the way that was perfectly planned and orchestrated by Him for her and Joseph’s blessing. Wise Men whom they didn’t know brought gifts that I’m sure they needed. They met Shepherds who bowed down and worshipped with them. Jesus met them right in their humble circumstances.
The Star God Has For You
So, no, you don’t know what this Christmas will look like; whether you will get to have a big beautiful Mass or worship outside in the cold (Sorry Minnesota Catholics – bundle up). But, like Mary and Joseph, God has chosen you and me for such a time as this. God has chosen you and you can be sure that God will provide in the perfect way that will help you grow closer to Him. Jesus will arrive and meet you if you are open to meeting him right in the middle of your circumstance. God will bring people into your life that He wants you to encounter. The gifts you receive will be provided by God for your holiness.
Maybe God will ask you to be like the shepherds and simply bring yourself to bow down and worship Him and spend time with him and his Mother and Foster Father Joseph. Or, maybe God is asking you to give gifts like the Wise Men.
So, look to Mary. Ask her to help you have her heart, her trust, and her eyes to be open to God’s great gifts He wants to shower on you this very uncertain and unknown Advent season.