HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
December 25, 2006, Herald Journal
Pastor's Column

A simple stage for God’s great plan

Pastor Gerald L. Boldt, St. John Evangelical Lutheran, Winsted

Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany are church seasons that bring great expectations. The celebrations are anticipated with great interest.

Young and old, alike, look forward with excitement to bright lights and ornamentation. Special baked goodies suddenly appear, looking almost too good to eat.

We all enjoy the festivities as we await the time to tear into all those beautifully wrapped packages under the tree. Everything must be just right. Nothing can be left out. After all, what will the family think if things are not flawless?

The pressure for perfection grows, and what was intended to be a season of hope and joy, becomes little more than an extended time of dread and anticipated letdowns.

As a result, it would be good for us to take a look from a different perspective. Paul writes in the first chapter of 1 Corinthians that God’s ways are not like those of humans.

Even from the beginning, the world’s view of God’s great plan for our salvation seems to leave much to be desired. Why would God call a poor adolescent girl from some small, out-of-the-way town to be the mother of the Messiah?

Why would God set the stage for His great appearance in a dirty, smelly place where animals are kept? There were no royal decorations, no gala celebrations with all the grand preparations due the birth of this king, who is the king of kings.

Without a doubt, we must remember “the reason for the season,” but, beyond that, we should look at the way God did things way back on that first Christmas. As a result, we might find ourselves looking less at trying to make everything just right, and instead, remembering how God was laying His great plan.

I would suggest we spend less time worrying about perfection in our preparations, and concern ourselves more with making sure we are showing our love and joy to our Lord and to others.

We should not set expectations that take away from what God wants us all to remember about that small stable on a cold night, with simple working people dressed in their work clothes, coming to worship our newborn King.


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