Desperately Seeking Christmas

Do you think Mary and Joseph were desperately seeking shelter on that first Christmas?

After all, Mary knew she would deliver soon – very soon. And Joseph – well, thinking about what little we know about him, it appears he was older than most new husbands and expectant fathers. What must’ve been going through his mind?

I wonder how the couple felt as they sought a place to stay and were turned away. Was Mary having labor pains? How difficult was it for her to walk or stay astride a donkey? Did Joseph wonder how he might have to deliver a child? Let’s face it, back then fathers didn’t participate in helping their wives give birth. Jewish custom required them to be absent.

As the night grew colder and darker, did their desperation mushroom into hopelessness?

I don’t think so. Even three years ago, I wouldn’t have answered so firmly. But God is teaching me much in my own journey of obedience to seek His will above my desires. And therein lays the reason I can respond so strongly.

Both Mary and Joseph were obediently following God. In spite of the awesome knowledge the angels had relayed to each of them, they truly had to deal with something much more down to earth.

Consider what their family and friends must have thought – apart from the heavenly host’s messages and guidance. Mary was pregnant and unmarried. There was no formal betrothal and no wedding celebration. By rights, meaning Jewish law, Joseph could have had her stoned to death.

Ignoring these things, the two obediently submitted to God's will. Instead of furtively setting up house and preparing a place for the baby, they took off into the desert to travel to a small town with throngs of strangers. No reservations for a nice room at the inn. No recommendations for a mid-wife. Nothing but God.

I believe that rather than desperation, Mary and Joseph experienced a quiet sense of peace and anticipation because of their obedience.

Are you desperately seeking Christmas this year? Desperation can set us up for despair and confusion.

You can choose to begin a most wondrous journey with the assurances Mary and Joseph found that Christmas night beneath a blazing star – and accept the gift of the One born in a manger.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16, NAS

Christmas Blessings, Francine


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