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Candle in the Night

Friday, December 2, 2011

31 Days to Christmas Day 8: Joseph's Journey

When we think about Christmas, we often think about the virgin Mary and what she went through, but how often do we consider Joseph.  Not only did he agree to compromise his standing in society by claiming the child as his own and taking Mary as his wife, but the weight of responsibility he must have felt must have been beyond what any of us can imagine.  A line from one of my favorite songs by Andrew Peterson says, “It came to pass that Joseph was the noblest of men” and I have no doubt that he was just that. 

My husband has learned in the past couple years the weight of responsibility that fatherhood brings.  When a man takes a wife, that man feels the responsibility to take care of her.  To guard and protect her.  To provide for her.  But he also knows that if he fails, she can probably take care of herself or at least find someone to care for her.  But when a man becomes a father, it’s a totally different story.  A child is a completely helpless being who, without a father and mother, would die.  They cannot look for help on their own.  They cannot help themselves.  So just imagine Joseph, having never been a father before, realizing the first child he will care for as a son is going to be the Son of God.  What a weight! 

In the midst of this, Joseph learns that he will have no help caring for Mary and the new baby.  He has to take her away from her family to a place where she most likely knows no one and help her deliver her baby there.  Again, I imagine that Joseph is overwhelmed by the responsibility placed on him.  Mary is probably little more than a child herself.  But God knew what He was doing when he chose Joseph.  Joseph didn’t waver.  He took Mary with him to Bethlehem, and after much searching, found a place for her to safely deliver the Child. 

Unfortunately, Bethlehem was none too friendly to Joseph and Mary.  I heard a Biblical scholar talking about this subject a while back and what he shared, I found interesting.  He said that Joseph should have had no trouble finding a place to stay in Bethlehem.  It was his hometown.  He most likely had family there.  The fact that there was no one willing to give him a room is significant in telling us how Mary and Joseph were rejected from society.  They were not welcome, even among family. 

As I was preparing for this blog, I found a verse from “O Little Town of Bethlehem” that I had never heard before and I thought it fit beautifully. 
O little Inn of Bethlehem,
How like we are to you;
Our lives are crowded to the brim
With this and that to do. 
We're not unfriendly to the King,
We mean well without doubt;
We have no hostile feelings,
We merely crowd Him out.
My prayer is that this Christmas, we will not only welcome Jesus in word, but welcome Him in all that we do.  Let’s not crowd Him out with our busy lives and schedules.  Spend some time today with the One we are celebrating.  
Matthew 2:1-8

Now, as it is written, the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise. After his mother, Mary, was espoused to Joseph, before they came together she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.  Then Joseph, her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.  But while he thought on there things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a vision, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife; for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost.  And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus; for he shall save his people from their sins.  Now this took place, that all things might be fulfilled, which were spoken of the Lord, by the prophets, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, (which, being interpreted, is, God with us.) Then Joseph, awaking out of his vision, did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife; And knew her not until she had brought forth her first-born son; and they called his name Jesus.



At December 3, 2011 at 7:57 AM , Blogger Caroline @ The Modest Mom said...

I've always liked that song! Great post. :)

At December 3, 2011 at 10:46 AM , Blogger djparmenter said...

Beautifully expressed!


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