Christmas came and went in a myriad of busyness this year. Spending the holiday in Kentucky looks very different to the quietness of Christmastime in England. Leading to the day, there was lots of shopping, wrapping, running errands, swapping cars, playing with kids, clearing up, visits with friends, cooking, and cleaning.
Somehow everything came together just in time for the celebration. Our house was full of gifts, food, people, and nerf guns. No, really. A full-fledged nerf war took place in the basement while the adults conversed upstairs.
Christmas with my family is great fun, but it’s a lot to take in. I had to be really intentional about remembering the purpose behind the holiday.
This year, when I was thinking about the promise of God through the birth of Jesus, I realised something that I’d never thought of before. It has to do with the birth of God’s promises.
The first instance of God making a promise happens with Abraham and Sarah. He promises to give them an heir, despite the fact that Sarah is way passed the age for bearing children. This heir, according to God’s promise, is meant to become a great nation. But years and years go by and Abraham and Sarah never conceive. Not seeing the promise take shape, they form their own plan to make it happen. Sarah, brings in a surrogate to have the promised child for her.
Did you know that it was often a practice in Ancient Babylonian culture for a barren woman to use a surrogate? If a woman wasn’t able to conceive it was grounds for a divorce. To prevent divorce she would have to come up with a plan B.
Well for Abraham and Sarah, the use of a surrogate was a deviation from God’s plan. Nothing was happening so they took matters into their own hands. Abraham and Sarah decided to make it happen for themselves.
How often do we do this in life? We say we are going to trust in God but if we don’t see Him working we decide it’s up to us to sort it out.
If you don’t know the story, the surrogate gives birth to a child, but not long after Sarah does too. And a bunch of stuff happens.
You see, the promise started then but it doesn’t end there. When God makes the promise to rescue the world by sending his Son, what does he do? He uses a surrogate.
He uses a simple, ordinary girl to fulfil His promise.
The Bible talks about how we get to enter a Covenant with God…I see it like this: Maybe He didn’t want to divorce us, so he used a surrogate so we could be forever His. It was like, for whatever reason, God wanted to use Abraham and Sarah’s deviation method to fulfil his greatest promise.
What I’ve learned is so often, when we look at the bigger picture, we will see God’s promises come full circle.