Dear Friends,

This is being sent as I hit the road for a week away.  There is a half-marathon I will be running in Madras on December 7. (Seven of my running friends here in Nampa are coming over to run it with me!)  It is a memorial run for my dad, a fund raiser for a Jack Watts Scholarship that will be awarded each year to a local runner.  I am going early so I can spend a week with my mother.  I will miss church on December 8.  I know you won’t want to miss though because we have the children’s Christmas program at 11 am and at 9 am we will have a dramatic presentation that will help you understand Christmas from the perspective of Mary.  Thanks to Kristen Marquardt, who is new in our church, for offering to do this!

I thought I’d share a little about Mary.  There is more in the Bible about Mary than you might think.  Luke 1 is almost all about her, though we have to use our imagination as to how she felt as she carried the Christ Child and prepared for his birth.  We are told how she responded to the angel when she was given this most unexpected, unbelievable news:  “I am the handmaid of the Lord.  Let it be to me according to your word.”  But we are left to wonder what she felt as the birth approached.  One would think she would have expected a safe, clean, warm place for God’s own Son to be born.  Instead Mary found herself on a long road trip when the time came. She had to give birth in a stable among farm animals.  I imagine she was puzzled, to say the least, at what God had in mind!

God often works in ways that puzzle us.  I’m sure we could all give examples of times when we thought we had God’s will all figured out and then something happened that was not at all expected.  We might question whether this is part of God’s plan at all. But often there is nothing we can do but “go with it” and it is later that we can look back and see how God had things well in hand all along.  The problem wasn’t God’s provision. The problem was our faith.

“Let it be, God”, is not a bad prayer.  I’ve never had a baby, but I can imagine women pray some variety of that prayer when labor begins.  Not much they can do but let God work another one of his miracles.

In Christ,