Awkward Christmas

Christmas is an awkward time for many families. This was most true at the first Christmas.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.   Luke 2

Mary and Joseph were not married when Jesus was born!  To the world, Jesus was the illegitimate son of Joseph.  Who would believe either parent if they said his birth was supernatural?

Can you imagine Joseph going to Bethlehem, where all his other relatives are going to register, and arriving with his pregnant fiancé?  While this is nothing today, in the ancient middle East this was both shameful to the family and worthy of death.  Can you imagine the shame and disgrace that Joseph and Mary felt as further attention was drawn to them with the coming of shepherds and wise-men.  I cannot.

Our Lord Jesus, the Son of God, the King of Kings, came into the world bearing shame that was not his to bear so that we could be reconciled to God.  Jesus would also die bearing shame that was ours to reconcile us to God.  He bore our shame because he loved us.

Christmas is coming. We should follow in his steps.  Let us swallow our pride and bear a little shame to reconcile, even partially, with a family member.  Send a card, make a call, give a gift.

Denis Oliver