Luke 2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
Stuff happens, sometimes you never know, it just happens, out of the blue. Who would have thought we would have had a real fall this year? For the last 7 years by November 1 we have had the snow that remained until spring, but not this year. Who would of though that we would get into December, and begin to wonder whether we would have a white Christmas. Weathermen study history and current events in the hope of gaining some insight as to what tomorrow might be like, and as hard as they works, they are mostly wrong, or so it sometimes seems.
Stuff happens, and sometimes it might seem like life is just random events coming in no particular order as we go in no particular direction. But not everything in life is random, some things are planned, and others you work for. It takes practice to hit home runs, you may work at it for many years, but one day you might hold the record, for a time. It takes practice for a Sunday School program to come together, parents working with their children, learning the parts, getting up in front of a lot of people, saying all the words, saying them slowly and clearly, and singing the songs. It takes practice to stand up straight, to keep your hands by your side, and sometimes it seems like its never going to come together, but it does come together, some of that might be our work, but much more is God, who gives us the grace to do all things to his glory.
And when you know something is planned, and when it is being worked on slowly and steadily – then it just doesn’t happen – rather it comes to pass, that is the promise and the plan reach their fulfillment. Its not a new idea, promise plan and fulfillment – it goes all the way back to the beginning, creation began in this way. God said, and it came to pass and it was good.
God made everything and it was good. Then sin happened – it wasn’t planned, it wasn’t promised, it just happened. It could have been the end, but God had a plan, and God made a promise, and the people believed in hope. Hope wasn’t always easy, things didn’t happen quickly, Abraham was an old man, and still no children – but God had a plan, God made a promise, and it came to pass that Isaac was born.
The world was very evil, and God thought to destroy it all, but he found a man of faith, and made a plan, and a promise and an ark was built – and God washed away all the evil, and there was a new beginning – This is the story of Noah. And we could continue through time a we see the plan unfold, and hear again the promise, as see it come to pass. And as great as all these stories are, they only signs pointing to the greater story – of how it came to pass that the Son of God became man and dwelt among us.
It might have appeared to Joseph sometimes that stuff was happening. It wasn’t his plan for his bride to be with child by the Spirit of God. It wasn’t his plan that a distant king should write a law that would cause him to leave Nazareth behind and to make a journey to Bethlehem. But these things were accidents, they were all part of God’s plan. God had promised that the Savior would be born in Bethlehem. And so it is that the plan and the promise of God are fulfilled.
Sometimes our lives might seem like they just happen, random events, things that we didn’t anticipate – and it can be frustrating, for we feel helpless and out of control. But God has a plan for us, and God will provide for us. For it is God’s will that we find the forgiveness of sins, peace and everlasting life in Jesus Christ – and having found this treasure, that we remain with it always. For God would like very much if the end of each one of our stories would end, and they lived happily ever after – for that is what Jesus came to bring – but that ending is not a promise for this world, but rather for the world to come – and it will come to pass, when the time is right – may we be found ready – trusting in Jesus Christ and his promise of life and salvation.
But even this doesn’t just happen – there are people who tell others the good news, and still more who teach the way of salvation – and we have our parts to say – and just as God helped the children to say the right thing, so also God will help us, so that all might know how the peace of God came to pass on Christmas in the birth of Jesus our Savior.