Tag Archive | Joseph

Glory in the Highest!

KS12499

     And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

     Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

     Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

     And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

     “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” 

KS12494So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

From my family to yours…

Merry Christmas!

On Mary’s Lap

What promises have been made to you in your lifetime?

If you are like me… many. Some were kept, some were broken, but many were made.

Now, what if the promise was something that was so outrageous you thought, “There is just NO WAY that can happen?”

For a young girl named Mary, her situation seemed pretty unbelievable. Yet the promise of the Messiah – THE Promise of the ages – was about to come to pass, and she had gotten the message from an angel that she had been chosen to be the vessel by which the Messiah would enter the world.

She… a teenage virgin.

Exactly!

Mary had made the choice to remain pure, and this was the ultimate reward. The prophesy stated that the Messiah would be born to a virgin, and her decision to remain sexually pure made her a candidate. And while some of her other qualifications (being born of the line of David, etc) were things beyond her control, the choice to remain a virgin was uniquely hers.

Now, being the earthly mother to the Son of God would not be without challenges, many of which were probably not apparent at the time to this teenage girl. But in the months and years to come, she would suffer the ridicule of being pregnant as a teen, have to make the 60 mile journey to Bethlehem, give birth in a stable, then have to flee to Egypt to protect her child from the blind rage of Herod. Furthermore, it is fairly apparent from history that Joseph died, leaving Mary to care for their family. Then add to that the fact that Mary had to stand by and watch helplessly as her Son was beaten, tortured, and crucified. Honestly, I don’t know how many of us could stand that kind of grief.

Yet, Mary never wavered from her original assessment — the words she spoke to the angel when he first delivered the joyous news…

Be it unto me according to your word.

Some would argue that some of our liturgical friends have “made too much” of Mary. Well, if this is true, I would venture to say that the evangelical church has made too little of her. We find in Mary a woman of amazing resolve and grace, a servant -hero of the faith.

Throughout December, I will be preaching a series entitled, “What Child Is This?” This week (8th), I will be talking about Mary… who she was, what she did, and what she means to us as 21st century believers… On Mary’s Lap.

I hope you will join me, in person or online.