Saturday, December 6, 2008

Pondering what Mary and Joseph must have been thinking...

Its Christmas and naturally my thoughts turn to Jesus' birth. A habit of mine is to read the accounts of His birth from the Gospels in several translations.
As I was reading the other day I was struck by the facts of Mary's and Joseph's lineages. I have read these many times but this thought never truly stood out to me before now. Joseph was a descendant of KING David. Royalty!! Now you know he had to have picked his bride VERY carefully. You wouldn't want to besmirch the good family name (of course I am dramatizing here) but can't you just imagine. He had picked a "good girl" a "righteous" girl, which Mary herself was from a priestly line of Aaron through her Mother. So I am sure she was raised to revere God and His laws and to follow them from her birth. So for him to find out that she was with child must have been a huge blow for Joseph as well as an embarrassment. It mentions he was a "just man" which says to me he knew he couldn't judge her but he sure wasn't going to marry her. He would temper mercy with his decision to "divorce her" quietly. He could have had her drug before the courts and punished for adultery. Of course God intervenes and reassures him of who the real Father of the baby Mary is carrying is. Pretty amazing!!

Talk about awesome responsibility, raising God's Son as your own? wow! 'Although it has always puzzled me that we don't hear more about Joseph and what he was like. Some speculate that he was less than accepting of Jesus and the mystery surrounding His birth. I like to think that the writer's of the New Testament Gospel's were just trying keep the focus on Whom was Jesus' real Father. Thus we don't hear about Joseph very much. For that matter you don't hear about Mary much either after Jesus' birth. Again I think because the focus is on Jesus' divine parentage not His earthly. Although He was thoroughly human as well as divine.

And of course there is Mary. She is going through her routine one day and hello here is an angel standing before you. Now I always wondered what did Gabriel look like. Was he dressed all in white and glowed or did he look like someone from off of the streets of Mary's village. Anyway, she had to have been a pretty spiritually aware young woman not to scream and run away; to recognize the holiness of that moment. Put yourself in Mary's shoes. Here is this man who doesn't look like anyone you had ever seen before and he tells you God has chosen you to carry His child. And she calmly accepted it although she did ask how this was going to happen since she was a virgin. And she accepted his reply to that as well. Goodness. How very trusting as well as focused on God and His purpose for her life she must have been. It also amazes me that we don't hear anything about her parents reactions. Only her cousin Elizabeth who was much older than her. What did her parents think? Were they ashamed? Why would she leave and go to Elizabeth and Zechariah? I like to think they were the "cool" Aunt and Uncle whom although never had children were very loving and always welcomed their nieces and nephews into their home. So Mary knew that even if Mom and Dad didn't understand Aunt Elizabeth and Uncle Zechariah would.

Oh well, God has good reasons for not letting us in on all those little details. But it does get me to wondering and questioning. My prayer is that this story never gets old or "common". That it always creates AWE and WONDER in our hearts and minds at this time of year. And that I never quit reading it with fresh eyes and mind.

1 comment:

3 Girl Mommy said...

I LOVED this!! I have often wondered the same thing. What WAS everyone thinking living in that moment. What an awesome thing!!! The Christmas "story" is my absolute, all-time favorite!!