“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”
I like to be prepared when I’m going on a trip. Especially if it’s a conference or an event. I want to know where I’m staying and what’s available there. I want to know what the expectation is for what everyone should wear. I want to know where I am supposed to go and what I’m supposed to be doing. I am definitely an over-packer. The car is typically loaded down with anything I could possibly need, and honestly, a lot of what I don’t need.
So, I can only imagine what it must have been like for Mary to set off at the end of her pregnancy not knowing what each day would hold. Not knowing where they would stay, or who would be there to help her. She may have wondered what she should bring that might be of help to her. I know I would not have liked that situation one bit.
But God knew. God knew exactly what was going to happen. Long before any of this took place, God had everything planned. We won’t always understand what God is up to and what our tomorrow holds. God’s plans for us won’t always be easy. Sometimes it will be inconvenient, but we can trust that whatever we go through will always be worth it. Mary trusted God when she said to the angel, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” We must trust God’s plans for us and know that He has everything under control.
As we prepare for an uncertain 2021, here are three things we must be sure are on our list for a good trip:
- A daily check-in with God – Spending time each day with the Lord in prayer and reading His word aligns us and reminds us why we are here and what life’s all about. Belmont’s daily blog helps you do just that!
- Christian connections – Having regular interaction with a close group of Christian friends will provide the encouragement and accountability God intended for us as we navigate the challenges and opportunities of the days ahead. If you don’t have a group to connect with, Belmont would love to help you find just the right one. mybelmont.org/smallgroups
- Weekly worship with a local church – At Belmont, we provide times for worship on campus and online. These are opportunities to catch the vision of the pastor, the direction of the church, and a reminder that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves. It’s also a time to recharge for the week by actively worshipping with other believers.
And Parents, just as you have the responsibility of helping your children pack for any trip you go on as a family, the habits that you set with them today will prepare them for a brighter future in the many trips they have ahead of them. We’d love to help you in any way that we can! mybelmont.org/kids
While using the HEAR method to dig deeper into the passage above, consider the following questions:
- Do you have these three “must-haves” on your packing list for 2021? If so, how have these items helped you in the past in the challenges and opportunities that have come your way?
- If you find yourself “packing light,” what will you do to take advantage of what God has provided for your journey?
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you?
Explain – what does the passage mean?
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today?
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?
Katie Marchman – Children’s Director