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According To Plan?

According To Plan?

Daily Devotion for Advent | Monday, December 24, 2018 | Christmas Eve

christmas eve candlelight service immanuel lutheran church joplin missouri

And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn Son and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths and laid Him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Luke 2:6-7

How distressed Joseph must have been! He could get no decent place for his wife to lie down, even though she was plainly about to give birth. There was no room in the inn. Whatever relatives they might have had in Bethlehem could not give them a bed. By this point, Mary no doubt wanted nothing but a place to lie down—any place, so long as it was horizontal; but her husband wanted better for his wife and her baby.

I wonder what Joseph thought of God’s planning at that moment. It surely didn’t resemble the kind of planning Joseph wanted! Was he angry? Frightened? Worried? We don’t know.

nativity scene what child is this gregory mech immanuel lutheran church joplin missouri

But in God’s eyes, everything was going according to plan. Jesus was about to be born in the city of David, in Bethlehem, as God had promised so many years ago: “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for Me One who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days” (Micah 5:2).

God came into our world as a human baby between the thighs of a woman in temporary housing. We don’t even know if Joseph managed to find a midwife to help. Instead of a cedar cradle, Jesus had a manger to sleep in. Instead of silk and cloth of gold, Jesus was wrapped in homely swaddling clothes. This is the birth God planned for Himself as He set in motion His great plan—the plan to redeem us all from the power of death and the devil.

Like Joseph, we too are often distressed when our plans aren’t working out—especially when we see our loved ones suffer as a result. But we can take comfort in knowing that God cares for them as He cares for us, and He is working out His plans to save us all—through Jesus, our Savior.

THE PRAYER

Lord, when my plans go wrong, help me to rest in You, trusting that You will see us through. Amen.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS
  • What plans are you making right now?
  • Tell about a time when your best-laid plans all went awry.
  • What glimpses have you had of God’s plan for your own life over the years?

Brought to you in partnership with Lutheran Hour Ministrieslhm.org/advent

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About These Devos

THE COMING KING Advent Devotions 2018

The coming Savior’s birth was foretold by the prophets of old and later experienced by many who were on hand as He came into this world. Mary and Joseph, Zechariah and Elizabeth, Simeon, shepherds, wise men from the east, a legion of angels, and even King Herod—all play their parts in the Gospel narratives that speak of the Savior’s incarnation. Explore the many ways their lives were touched as God became one of us, for each of us, in The Coming King.

Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM) is a Christian outreach ministry supporting churches worldwide in its mission of Bringing Christ to the Nations—and the Nations to the Church.