The First Christmas Parents

I re-read the Christmas passages in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Matthew focuses mostly on Joseph’s story. Luke focuses on Mary’s side of the story. But as I read, I’m struck with how each of them had to decide to accept God’s message and plan, no matter that it didn’t make sense. It does not make sense to any woman that they should become pregnant without knowing a man. It does not make sense for a man to believe that his pregnant fiancé has not known a man. It does not make sense especially in the culture of Israel in BC 1, for a man to take as his wife a pregnant young woman. There is such a great scandal in that. That woman could have been accused of fornication and stoned to death! What respectable man would take her as his wife!??! Well, angels told both Mary and Joseph that this pregnancy would happen and that it is “of God.” Each of them decided to accept this unlikely explanation as true. Each of them decided to live as if it were true. They mapped their decisions based on its truth.

Mary had much to ponder (Luke 2:19) after shepherds visited. She pondered all that she and Joseph had been told and how it actually happened, and what Elizabeth did and said, and what the shepherds told her. They told the story that angels told them: “a Savior has been born,” where to find him and how he’d be dressed. The angels told them Good News, Peace and Good Will. The angels gave unknown shepherds the same message she and Joseph had been told. Much to ponder.

There are parallels to all this in your life too. You have been told (it’s in the Bible) that God is good. That God is in control. That God loves you. And you know it’s true that your child died. You may be asking how can all these things be true at the same time. It does not make sense, like it didn’t make sense for Mary and Joseph. But, like them, you can decide to believe it and to act as if it’s true. Like Mary you may want to or need to ponder these things a while until the Lord gives you more insight. I’m not imagining that you’ll have a visiting angel but you do have His revealed message in the Bible about His relationship with you. You have His Holy Spirit sent after the resurrection to help give you insight.

Like the first Christmas parents, you have much to ponder. But like the first Christmas parents, I urge you to decide to accept that God is good and loves you. You can chose to live as if its true. But also, be patient with yourself until you can see how your child’s life and death will bring good will and peace.  He did it for the whole world, He can do it for you too.