Word for Word

by Rev. Laura Odegard, United Methodist Minister, retired

Here it is almost September with little summer heat as more changes come. Soon our trees will boast gorgeous red and gold autumn leaves. Then in a flash, our trees will stand bare and naked as we face our first frost.
So to live in Iowa we know that weather changes are rapid and frequent - but a variety of changes face us all. We can unexpectedly lose a loved one or our job disappear and nothing new seems available. Our children can seem to grow up over night and suddenly be gone off to college or into a far away profession or even suddenly get married!
Soon enough we greet Thanksgiving and can hope most of the family gathers. Then comes Christmas. Will we decorate our world? Will we overspend for Christmas presents? Will we be buried in snow?
So, yes, changes come to us today in the 21st century but major changes also came 2,000 years ago in the first century as the Carpenter’s Son from Nazareth was growing up  in his humble village. This very bright but humble little boy part of a far from wealthy family, appeared to be like all the other kids in the area, at least on the outside.
But changes were coming. Daddy Joseph may not have approved of or even understood that the little boy, son of the very young Mary, would change the world.
Who could have imagined young Jesus was the long awaited Messiah, soon to change the world of his own time and the world we still have today 20 centuries later?
Changes can be miraculous and divine and even a mystery. Changes come to use all. How do we handle any of it today? Death, the job market, troubled kids, debt, serious illness, on and on we go.
Joseph and Mary had a bit of a struggle dealing with the fact that their little guy, born in a stable in Bethleham, to a teenage mama, would be and still is the Savior of the world.
So for us today many changes and surprises can come in all of our own families. May we accept and adjust to whatever may touch us, surprise, and even overwhelm us; as did Joseph and Mary, whose little newborn asleep on that bed of hay in that old barn would bring God’s salvation to planet Earth and change us all.

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