During Christmas we always go to see the lights in different places of our town. There are some houses where one can see nativity scenes displayed in the yards. I have noticed Joseph standing behind Mary. And they both are beholding the baby (Jesus) placed in the manger. Often after seeing that, my mind has always wandered to the time past and I had wondered about Joseph, who remained silent and never questioned. He kept doing whatever he was told to do and remained obedient and even remained righteous and pure in his relationship with Mary till the birth of Jesus. I believe he was still trying to make sense of all these things in his mind. It was beyond his comprehension! But Joseph remained submissive to the will of God. The nativity scene is a beautiful picture of two ordinary people who were willing to risk and give up their social standing. I am amazed and inspired by their willingness to be scrutinized and ridiculed by their friends and their community.
Remember Joseph was going to put her away secretly after he came to know that Mary is with child. Who told him? How did he come to know.? We do not know, but it seems it became evident after three months of pregnancy. It was obvious that few people came to know about Mary and the news reached to him. I believe when he heard the news, he was both shocked and heartbroken. He must be tormented by hundred of thoughts, things and questions in his mind after hearing this ridiculous bad news. But he remained calm under these circumstances. He must be asking, “Why all this happened to me?’ His dreams of being happily married to Mary shattered.
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. “ Mathew 1:18-19
Joseph came to know about the pregnancy of Mary after three months because Mary went to her cousin’s place soon after she received the message from the Angel, Gabriel. Luke 1:56 He was thinking of what could have transpired in the three months while she was at her cousin’s place. He must deliberating what are his options and what is the best way to deal with this situation. He remained thoughtful and concerned about Mary and her future.
“But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.”. Mathew 1:20
“Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife.” Mathew 1:24
Again, this was not an easy thing for him. It was a shameful and sinful thing for a young woman to be impregnated before lawful marriage in that culture. The culture in which he was living, would have stoned Mary to death. Unlike today’s culture in the west, where hundreds of babies are born out of wedlock, but no one cares or dares to ask question to young people. Many don’t think it is a wrong thing or sin!
He found out that it was a God’s plan for him and Mary. The angel told him “don’t be afraid”. Joseph was willing to be submissive to the heavenly voice of the Angel. He must have told his parents, relatives and friends that he will not give up on Mary and will take her as his wife. He was going to do one big ridiculous thing which was unheard of in that culture. We do not know the Bible describes him, that “he was a just man”. There are handful men in the NT who are called “ just or righteous. He was the first “just man of New testament” we read about in Mathew 1:19. He did exactly what just man must be willing to do for the sake of Christ. He was willing to be ridiculed and scorned by his friends, family members and neighbors.
Are you willing to be ridiculed by your friends, relatives, and countrymen? Christmas is hijacked by postmodern culture. People don’t want to say “ Merry Christmas!” but “ Happy Holiday!” People want to sing “Santa Baby, ” “ twelve days of Christmas” Rudolf the red nose deer” etc.
- Please say “Merry Christmas” to everyone.
- Play Christmas Hymns and songs.
- Hang Star or a Cross in your window or in your yard.
- Make Christ known and be known for your faith.
Don’t be afraid, let the world ridicule you. Let them say whatever they want to say about you and your faith.
Be willing to be ridiculed this Christmas!
Peter forewarns Christians in his epistle that in the last days they will be mocked for their belief in Christ’s Second Coming!
“… knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” 2 Peter 3:3-4
Don’t be afraid! Be willing to be ridiculed for your Faith!! Don’t give up, Jesus is coming again soon!
We at our home have started playing Christmas songs. There is something about Christmas time and music. It feels you with excitement and joy. I have always wondered what was it likeon that night while shepherds were in the field, there shone around them glory of the Lord and the angel shared good news of Jesus birth. Later we read there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying ( singing),
“ Glory of God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
I believe this was one of the most melodious music fell into the ears of Shepherd. Shepherds in the middle-east/ east have always played music (pipe or flute )or sang songs while grazing flocks. It must have been a treat for weary shepherds to hear heavenly music with the message of hope and joy.
Think about the message of the music and songs. Share and sing Christmas songs/hymns of hope, joy and peace with your family, friends, and even with foes! People need to hear music of hope and joy in the midst of fear and despair.
At Jesus’ Second coming, we know one of the musical instruments that will be sounded. This will be a very different sound/music.
“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.” I Thessalonians 4:16
Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Mathew 24:30-31
Enjoy your Christmas music and Anticipate the trumpet sound at any moment. Christ is coming soon! And then we will be singing a new song and play new music (Revelation 5:9-14 ) only if we have truly accepted the message of angels’s Christmas music as did the shepherds.
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!”