How Great is Our God in HEBREW,

Saturday, December 12, 2015

A New Telling of an Old Story

I'm glad once more to have my laptop functioning.  NOTE TO SELF: DO NOT DRINK COFFEE WHEN YOU ARE HALF ASLEEP AND USING YOUR COMPUTER!!!  I've done the same dumb thing in the past too.  For a while I was cautious but then, inevitably came the day when I was careless and got bitten.  It could have been a lot worse but thankfully it was only the touchpad that needed to be replaced.

 Just reflecting on the Christmas account of Baby Jesus' birth this morning.  Yesterday I received a card from a friend and it was  a picture of a YOUNG Mary, bending over to kiss the cheek of the infant Savior.  I love the card because it really shows Mary to be little more than a child herself.  And her love and  tenderness are apparent.  Joseph plays a large role in the story also.  He was concerned for Mary and even though she had apparently been unfaithful, he didn't want to shame her or drag her out into the street to be stoned.  And the Word of God came to him in his sleep, assuring him that the babe in Mary's room was indeed the Messiah.  The one who would be one day, King of kings and Lord of lords.  And he listened to God's instruction and had the faith to accept the vision as truth.

Apparently Joseph was  a bit older than Mary.  Already an established carpenter and able to care for Mary as her body changed and the Babe inside grew.  I can picture his tender concern during that long donkey ride to Bethlehem.   And as it became apparent that Mary was giving birth that night, he desperately knocked on door after door until he finally found an innkeeper with some heart who opened his stable to them.  And there Joseph....found himself in the role of a midwife and delivered God's own child and cared for his suffering wife/child.  And that night their joy resounded to the heavens and was given  voice by Angels.  The shepherds arrived....a motley untidy crew...and affirmed to the couple that this babe was indeed royalty from Heaven.

And eventually the couple returned to their home and began the routine of feeding and changing the new infant.  And some time passed...between one and two years...and they entertained wise men...astronomers and mystics who were alert to a new star in the heavens which guided them to the small home which housed the Savior.  They brought gifts....treasures that must have widened Joseph's eyes.  But wise men alerted Mary and Joseph about a threat....the power hungry, hate-filled heart of Herod...the wise men departed and the two settled down to sleep . 

Once again the word of the Lord came to Joseph in another dream,  The angel warned them that they must immediately flee and go to Egypt.  Joseph shook his young wife awake and they quickly amassed the provisions they would need for their journey.  Mary said good bye to her belongings and focused on the task of getting food ready for them to  bring.  They loaded up one donkey with their provisions and the treasures given them by the astronomers and Mary climbed aboard the other donkey, holding the young Lord securely on her lap.  They worked  quickly with hearts racing and sweaty palms as they recognized the danger. 

Then followed some lonely years as strangers in a strange land...They lived off of the gifts given by the wise men..and years passed.  Then, finally they got the green light--announced by yet another angelic appearance in a dream to Joseph.--to return to Israel and to set  up house.  Joseph was cautious since the current Herod was the son of the one who murdered every baby and young toddler in Bethlehem in hopes of destroying God's Chosen Son who was to rule and reign Israel---but not within the lifetime of anyone yet born.  Herod thought Y'shua (Hebrew for "savior") was an imminent threat to his throne and this fear of his prompted the blood bath ordered by the cruel, godless heart of Herod. 

Out of caution, Joseph and Mary set up house in Nazareth rather than returning to Bethlehem and the babe grew and there followed brothers and sisters....and time passed...I'm sure that Mary and Joseph annually commemorated that night in the stable ...that first Christmas Eve and now it is up to us to remember..and to show a greedy , materialistic world the true meaning of the day which now is honored by Christmas trees and lit up houses and gifts.  This Christmas, spend some time in the stable....with the smell of hay and dung...where that little babe lay in his manger bed, worshiped by shepherds and angels and let the marvel of those events stir your heart to worship the only son of God----God's Christmas gift to us and the first steps in his long journey to the Cross.
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