Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Christmas: where dreams die

I don't know if you've noticed but Christmas is incredibly costly to those involved in it.  As Mary, after her visitation by the angel, says "I am the Lord's servant, may it be to me according to your word." it costs her.  The first Christmas is not about Mary's dreams being fulfilled, it is about Mary's dreams dying so that she can be part of something bigger.  All of Mary's dreams; of a white wedding, a joy and excitement filled lead up to her wedding to Joseph, her reputation in the community as a godly young woman, all of those die as she submits to God's word to her.

She will no longer be the godly young woman she is the teenage harlot who just couldn't wait, or who went behind Joseph's back.  Those rumours would follow her into Jesus adulthood.  Imagine the cost to her relationship to Joseph, he has in mind to divorce her, and takes an angelic visitation to change his mind.  As Mary bursts into God honouring praise in the Magnificat it is because she has wrestled with the death of her dreams and accepted that God's promise and plan is better.

Christmas asks us whether we have wrestled with that very issue?  Have my dreams died in order for me to follow Jesus?  Accepting Jesus as Lord means the death of my worldly dreams in order to be involved in God's greater plan to save a lost world through the good news of his Son.  And it is not a one off wrestle.  Proclaiming Jesus as Lord means bowing the knee, submitting to his way not my way, daily.

All our dreams of significance, ease, wealth, achievement need to be given over to Jesus and they may well die in order for us to do what he has for us to do in pursuit of his glory.  Our society calls us again and again and again to adopt and pursue its dreams.  Christmas challenges us with the call that following Jesus means submitting to him, even our dreams, and echoing Mary's words "I am the Lord's servant, may it be to me according to your word."

No comments: