I encourage all of you to watch this video....simply because it will put all of your Christmas-y office decorations to shame. I know my little nativity and Christmas tree are cowering in the corner.
Special thanks to our friend Eric Dye over at ChurchMag for this little gem:
Okay now that all of you have smiled - Merry Christmas - from all of us here at the revolution (okay so it's just me - here at my desk - but let's not spoil the fun). There has been a considerable amount of real life stuff attacking me this Christmas season. I have often found myself distracted this year - and I have a 4 year old at home - so that is not an easy task. But, this morning I was reminded of something while doing my daily reading:
In those days Caesar Augustus declared that everyone throughout the empire should be enrolled in the tax lists. This first enrollment occurred when Quirinius governed Syria. Everyone went to their own cities to be enrolled. Since Joseph belonged to David’s house and family line, he went up from the city of Nazareth in Galilee to David’s city, called Bethlehem, in Judea. He went to be enrolled together with Mary, who was promised to him in marriage and who was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for Mary to have her baby. She gave birth to her firstborn child, a son, wrapped him snugly, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the guestroom. - Luke 2:1-6, Common English Bible
I read that Scripture this morning and it was "just" the Christmas story for me at first. But - my Alma mater (Indiana Wesleyan University) sent out an Advent devotional this year. When I picked it up to read December 22nd's little ditty (written by the Rev. Dr. Mark S.F. Eckart). Did anyone else read that Mary was pregnant? I know you did because you all just read that with me... But I don't know what I've been doing that I never noticed it before now....Joseph was a step-dad.
All this time we have been looking at Mike Brady as the greatest step-dad in history - what about Joseph?
Joseph steps outside of social norms and takes a pregnant woman as his wife. This guy needs a medal - he isn't just going to be taking Mary and Jesus under his roof and hauling Jesus off to baseball practice - he is also taking on ridicule, shame, and the attacks of the entire Jewish community. But he does it anyway because God asked him to do it. That's a courageous thing to do. I think that God takes the courage of Joseph into account when he comes to Earth. He has to - I believe that he knew that Joseph would step out on a limb and trust Mary and God.
This year I need that courage.
What about you?
Have you experienced pain this Christmas season?
Did someone hurt you?
Have you lost a loved one?
Joseph was hurt too - and yet he embraced this little infant. The one called Immanuel (God with Us) is calling for you this Christmas season - he wants to embrace you in this coming year. I pray you will embrace the infant Christ and the peace he brings with the courage of Joseph.
Blessings and Merry Christmas - Jerrod