One of the things the Christmas stories are revealing to me this year is the courage many of the players had to follow God’s calling in their lives. For most of the church we have very clear rules that we follow. Go to church. Tithe. Be kind to others. Read our Bibles. And so on.
The challenge is when God calls you to do something different that doesn’t look like everyone else. God may ask you to fast, not watch certain movies, or donate your car. To follow God in a way that looks different is hard.
Have you ever thought about where the wise men came from?
The wise men are some mysterious people (Matthew 2:1-12). They stir up trouble in Jerusalem searching for some king that had been born because of a star they saw. Did nobody else see this star? Were they the only ones that knew the star meant a king was born? Whatever the answers they were only ones that went looking. Not only that, they traveled miles with expensive gifts completely expecting to find the one they search for. What gave them this confidence? They had an internal assurance that drove them.
What would we have thought of Anna?
Then there was Anna, the prophetess (Luke 2:36-38). She spent around 60 years in the temple day and night worshipping God. If this happened in most churches, she would be ostracized as looney. Did she know something others didn’t? I don’t know, but God rewarded her by revealing the baby Jesus to her.
How many people would have believed Mary?
Finally, we all know about Mary – the virgin with child. That story was no more believable then than it is now. Joseph decided to divorce her quietly when he heard the story (Matthew 1:18-21). Mary goes to visit her relative Elizabeth to presumably spend time with people who did believe her (Luke 1:39-45). Does living a life greatly favored always look extremely different than others’ lives?
How different does your life look?
I don’t think these events should be unusual. All Christians should not look alike. We should look as unique and different as each culture, race, and fingerprint God created. We all have our unique callings to bring God glory. We each have our own beat to dance to. Other may not hear the beat, but we must still dance because our Father is pleased with our obedience.
- How can we encourage more people to step out to faithfully follow the calling on their lives?
- How can we support someone else’s calling that doesn’t make sense to us?
Original image courtesy of What God Wants for Christmas