Jon Bloom is one of my favorite authors. I love the way the Lord gifted him to write and how he shares that gift with us.

If you are looking for a Christmas sermon idea, let me encourage you to get his book Not By Sight, turn to chapter 12, and read the chapter “(Un)Planned Detours: Joseph the Carpenter and Guidance.”

After creatively walking the reader through the story from Joseph’s perspective, Bloom concludes:

One thing Joseph learned very quickly after God had drafted him to be the earthly father of Jesus was that his own plans were not a thing to be grasped. Whatever future he had originally imagined for himself and Mary evaporated in the heat of a reality determined by Another. And as he followed the path of faith, he repeatedly found it taking unpredictable turns: a Roman census, a grueling trip during the hardest part of pregnancy, a birth in a barn, no steady income, an assassination attempt, two desert crossings on foot with an infant, living in a foreign country, and waiting on God for last-minute guidance and provision.

This path was difficult, dangerous, expensive, time-consuming, and career delaying. And it was all God’s will. Like Joseph’s, the unplanned, inefficient detours of our lives are planned by God. God’s ways are not our ways (Isa. 55: 8–9). They are frequently bewildering to us, but they are always better because God is orchestrating far more than we see or know in every unexpected event and delay. So when you find yourself suddenly moving in a direction you had not planned, take heart; the Great Planner has something much better in mind for you and countless others.


As they say where I come from, “That’ll preach.”

What are YOU planning to preach from this Christmas Eve? What are you hoping to accomplish?