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Queensland Synod moderator, Rev David Baker. Photo: Ben Rogers
Queensland Synod Moderator, Rev David Baker. Photo: Ben Rogers

The hope that goes beyond our expectations

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

The theme for our 2019 Christmas campaign is “Beyond expectations”. So, I’ve been doing some thinking.

What is the Lord’s plan for me? What is the Lord’s plan for the Uniting Church? What is the Lord’s plan for the great state of Queensland? What can I do to make sure that I enact his plan?

My favourite part of the Christmas story is the Wise Men or the Magi. They came to Jerusalem from the East to worship the one born to be King of the Jews. We don’t know much about them other than that they were learned counsellors of kings.

How did they know about Jesus’ birth? They saw his star in the night sky and they followed it.

The birth of Jesus is a point in time when God enters into humanity’s life. We are forever transformed—God with man is now residing, yonder shines the infant light!

Christmas is a story of new life, a sign of hope that goes beyond our expectations.

Mary and Joseph could not have anticipated the gifts that Jesus would bring into the life of the world. His disciples, his followers and even the Magi couldn’t have imagined it.

We don’t know how this story will unfold in this generation. But we too have seen the star. We know that God has blessed us and wants us to be a blessing to others—beyond our expectations.

This Christmas, I encourage you to open your hearts to wonder and to let the birth of Jesus, the wonder of it, shape your imagination for what might be possible.

Emmanuel, God is with us. Don’t be limited by what we have done in the past. What can you do to make sure that you are enacting the Lord’s plan?

Please pray for those in our regional and remote areas, many of whom are struggling through the worst drought on record. May they find hope and strength in the Christmas message and the knowledge that they are not alone as we gather to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Merry Christmas.

Rev David Baker
Queensland Synod

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