Friday, December 11, 2009

Just Thinking

Tomorrow is the monthly meeting for our Christian Writer's group. The December meeting is one set aside for members to share some of their seasonal writing. I'm going to go with the writing in a previous post pretty much as it was written here.

But I've been thinking about Christmas...the first Christmas. I've been wondering about the trip that Joseph and Mary made to Bethlehem. The thing that is bothering me is that they tried to find a place to stay in the inn. Wasn't this Joseph's home?

I think that maybe Joseph's family refused to let them stay at home because Mary was pregnant with an illegitimate child. I wonder how difficult life was for Mary and Joseph and their young child. I wonder if Jesus was made fun of as a child because of his questionable parentage. I wonder if Mary had to endure knowing that people talked about her behind her back. I wonder how difficult it was to be known as "that kind of a girl" or how Joseph was treated because of the girl that he married. Did it cost him some business? Did it cost him community status?

There are a couple of references that show how people thought of the family. Mark 6:3 says: "Where did this man get these things?" they asked. "What's this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles! 3Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him.
The reference here to Mary's son is indicative that it was known that Joseph wasn't the father and that the father was unknown.

John 8:41 says, ..."We are not illegitimate children," they protested. "The only Father we have is God himself."
It's as if the leaders are saying, "We are not the illegitimate ones. You are."

Being obedient to God is not easy. It wasn't easy for Mary. It wasn't easy for Joseph. And it wasn't easy for Jesus. (By the way, don't expect it to be easy for you, either.)

And so Joseph and Mary find themselves unwelcome in Joseph's hometown and without a place to stay. In an act of complete humility, Jesus is born in a stable. God is among us. He dwells as a man among men. He provides the fulfillment of His promise of a Redeemer, and Jesus is born to die as the Ultimate Sacrifice.

How ever you tell the story this Christmas season--tell the story.

Merry Christmas

John <><


Mike said...

Merry Christmas back at you!

Patrick said...

Wow! I never thought about Mary and Joseph in that way. Thanks for shedding new light on their situation.