Have you ever thought about how Mary and Joseph felt at the time of Jesus birth? It must have been hard for them. First of all, Mary was just a teenager. We don’t know her age because it is not mentioned in the Bible, but we do know she was engaged to Joseph and young teenagers were engaged at that young age. Of course she didn’t show that she was pregnant right away, but when Joseph knew about it, he was very confused. He knew he was not the father, but what should he do? He was engaged to her after all!
When the town folks began to know Mary was pregnant, they were very angry. Girls who became pregnant before they were married were usually stoned to death. Joseph knew how hard it would be on Mary and he would have been very sad. But God was good. He sent an angel who told him he shouldn’t be afraid to marry Mary because the Holy Spirit had come on Mary and the baby who would be born was the Son of God. Now, imagine if your son or grandson got that message! What would he do? Anyhow Joseph believed the angel and Married Mary.
Mary believed the angel too. What else could it be? She hadn’t been with any man. But she must have endured a lot of criticism from her family and friends. The first thing she would have heard today is: “Go, get an abortion!” And the people of the town certainly thought the worst of her and were wondering what to do. But Mary and Joseph were married but had no relations until after the baby was born.
Then came that long 80 mile trip where they had to go to Joseph’s birthplace to enroll so that they would know how much they had to pay in taxes. He was born in Bethlehem so that is where they had to go. Mary was soon to have her baby and this trip would be difficult for her as the method of transportation was walking in those days. Joseph had secured a donkey for the journey making it somewhat easier for her.
Then to find out there was no room for them in Bethlehem! Those two young people must have been bewildered to say the least. I don’t think Mary thought very much about being in a barn either. The animals were all around, but they were making it warmer, weren’t they? Anyhow they settled in at that cave and what do you know…the baby was born that night!
The star, the angels, the shepherds were all things sent by God, not only to help these young people but to help us today. God came down to us that night too. All we are asked to do is believe! Believe that this tiny baby was the Son of God and that he grew up to heal and teach and finally die for our sins, Then he rose from the dead and now is with his Father in heaven. And, when we ask him he will take our sins and remember them no more. That is what we are told to believe and it really is a simple thing when we think of all the turmoil these two, Mary and Joseph, went through, isn’t it?
A very blessed Christmas to all of you.