Fresh Hope – 21st December 2018

Excitedly, your children and grandchildren will be breaking up from school today! Hurrah!!

We all will remember those feelings associated with the last day of term – especially the one that is ushering in the Christmas holidays.

No doubt many of you will have been to one or more nativity plays this week, and no matter how bad the performances have been, it doesn’t seem to be important. Your child’s performance will always be special.

Forgotten lines and crying children will be overlooked in an atmosphere of both laughter and tears present at each performance.

As we get closer to the season of Christmas, we will of course be brought face to face with Mary the mother of Jesus, albeit acted out by a child with a tea towel on her head.

We are all well aware that in reality this young teenage woman was chosen by God to give birth to Jesus; but have you ever stopped to think of the things that SHE had to overcome to allow this to take place?

Whenever God wants to use a person through whom He can give birth to a dream, there will be the very similar problems that we all have to overcome.

Both Mary’s challenges and ours will look something like this if we are going to be used to do something significant with our lives.

1) I’m not worthy – why would God choose me?

2) It’s impossible – how can this be?

3) I’m deceived – I must have this wrong?

4) It’s different – it’s never been done before.

5) Pressure – there’s always necessary pressure at birth. Pressure pushes out the dream.

6) Underestimated on arrival. Few recognised the magnitude of this world changing occasion.

7) Threatened in infancy. King Herod wanted Jesus dead! Every dream will be threatened when it’s just been born and in its infancy.

If you are willing to be used by God, then take heart from Mary’s life. Don’t walk away from pressure or pain – it’s that very stuff that gives birth to the dream.

Pastor Mark

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