A question of trust

Monday Reflection

21st December 2020

'Our Christmas story is all about trust'

Those who know your name
trust in you, for you,
O Lord,
do not abandon those
who search for you.

....Psalm 9:10

I wonder how willing you are
to trust other people?

Are others willing to trust you?

Our Christmas story
is all about trust.
First, there is Joseph --
quite an incredible man
amongst men.
How many men, discovering
that a girlfriend is
already pregnant,
would marry her
on the basis of a dream?

There is no doubt
why Mary trusted him.
He is a man of noble character,
refusing to make a
public scandal out of
Mary's pregnancy.

Joseph knew Mary too,
and in the depths of his heart
he trusted her.
Of course,
there were difficult facts
to face but it took just one
mysterious dream
to set Joseph's heart at peace.

Then there is Mary herself.
She puts her trust in the words
of an angelic messenger
although few people are likely
to believe her story
and she knows that to bear
a child can only bring
shame on her family
and could end
in her death by stoning.

She trusted Joseph,
and God too,
resisting what passes for
human respectability
and 'common sense'.

You can just imagine
the tongues wagging
in that little town.
Perhaps that is partly why
Mary and Joseph chose
at that time to set off
to be registered at Bethlehem.

It must have felt like a
'God sent opportunity'
for them to get away
from all the gossip.

Behind the human trust
that we see so poignantly
displayed in
Mary and Joseph
there is of course
something much greater,
the everlasting
trustworthiness of God
and a word that
could never be broken.

God's total faithfulness
in keeping the covenants
made with humanity is
not only on a completely
different scale from ours,
it has another extraordinary
dimension to it.

Once God gives His word
it immediately begins to
achieve what it has promised.

In fact, long before God
had made a covenant with
His chosen people Israel,
long before he had plucked
the Israelites out of relative
obscurity and entrusted
them with His laws,
there was already a more
ancient covenant in operation,
the unwritten promise that
God had made to creation
(Genesis 1:28-30).

28 God blessed them...
   And it was so,

We are preparing
to celebrate the birth of Jesus
and mysterious and wonderful
though the birth was,
we have to say that it was,
in a way, the most certain
event in this world.

From the beginning
God has been as good as
His word and His coming,
as man, was meant
from the beginning.

The Word made flesh
caught us by surprise --
it even caught
Mary and Joseph unawares.

But it was always in
God's mind to do this --
to become part of His creation,
to become one of us.

The gospel tells us that
Mary has a son
and called him Emmanuel,
or 'God-is-with-us'.

The knowledge that God is
in among us, as one of us,
is the guarantee of
true internal peace,
the peace that comes
from living in God's presence.

No one can rise to the
faithfulness and truthfulness
of God and yet
how ironic it is,
that as we humans fail
to trust each other,
making accusations of
deceit, lying,
or breaking promises,
few, it seems, are really
prepared to trust in God.

This Advent may we all
grow in honesty and in
faithfulness towards
God and to each other.