2019 December

Dear Friends

Advent is once again upon us and it is that time of year we look afresh at the nativity story. The story of God stepping into humanity in an incarnational way.

As we have been thinking and preparing for advent this year, the character of Joseph has once again been in my mind. He is often the character that gets missed in our retelling of the Christmas story. When we write our nativities or think about our advent liturgies he is not always the obvious choice. And yet Joseph holds a special place in my heart at this time of year, indeed as he did in that very first advent.

Joseph is not the main player in this Christmas story. He was not required to make the baby Jesus and his claim on the child is not biological. The central story does not revolve around him, but rather Mary as she carries and births Jesus. And yet whilst not required Joseph is very much wanted. Whilst not Jesus’ biological father, he is still needed to love and care and raise him. To provide for and protect this child that comes not from his blood. And Joseph, who could have walked away, leaving Mary to do this alone, stays. Committed to the role God has asked him to play. Signing up to supporting this God plan even when he does not stand centre stage.

I think a lot about Joseph at this time of year. His willingness to do what God asked. His commitment to be a supporting rather than a lead role. How he was sold out to God’s plan and doing his part. It makes me reflect on the nature of church and our roles within Gods plan here, today.

So often we can focus on ‘our ministry’, our personal role, our central stage. The groups we run, the organisations we support, the me and I of faith. And yet I wonder how often we step back and look at the bigger picture. How often do we stop to see what God is already doing, how God is moving and how we might take our part in that?

How does everything we do fit into the bigger picture of God’s plan for our church, our circuit and our community? And how does what we do personally and in our small groups support the plan God has for this place? How willing are we to be Josephs rather than Marys?

And the beauty of Joseph’s story is that there is space for us all to be involved in God’s work. There is space for all of us and all of us are needed. We don’t all need to be Marys, or Josephs for that matter. But we are all wanted by God, needed by God, and useful to God. We just need to be willing to accept the invitation to be involved.

So as we move through advent this year why not take some time to reflect on what God is doing in the place you are. Take some time to look and see where God is on the move. And then take some time to think about how you can support that. It might be in prayer, it might be practical involvement, it might be offering your resources or time. It might be building bridges and connections with other ministries within your area. There are 100s of ways we can be a part of God’s work. Let’s commit to doing so this advent.

Blessings

Hayley James,  Mission Enabler,  Crosby Circuit Mission and Ministry Team


Page last updated: 14th December 2019 8:13 PM