I imagine that if you had never heard the Christmas story, and where reading it for the first time, it would read like the script of an episode of 'Jeremy Kyle' or 'Jerry Springer' - you know one of those shows where people have lots to complain about and then do so in front of the world!! Let's look at it -
Mary and Joseph get engaged... And so the story begins
Mary gets pregnant... supernaturally... And here comes the aliens...
Joseph is told to marry her anyway... by an angel... Angels?? Really??
When she's 9 months pregnant she ends up in a different town, away from her family and support, having travelled on a donkey for miles and miles... What was he thinking dragging her all that way?
He hasn't booked a room... so they have nowhere to go.... Typical men - never planning ahead!
Baby Jesus is born in a stable and wrapped in swaddling cloths... No way! He did not expect you to give birth there... and where were the midwives or at least someone with hot water and towels??
What a story! You can just imagine how stressful the whole thing must have been. This was happening in a country where women were stoned if they were caught in the act of adultery, so being pregnant and unmarried was a scandal. Then to have that long hard journey just before you are due to give birth.... horrendous doesn't even begin to cover it.
But you never hear Mary complain. Mary acts with the grace of a woman who knows that she is right in the centre of God's will for her life. She knows that God has planned a very special birth for His Son and she knows that no matter what He will come through for her.
And He does. His plan and His timing were perfect. Not only did they fulfill ancient prophesies, they gave Jesus a foundation and story that could only bring glory to His Father. For its only with God's help that Mary and Joseph came through these difficulties and hard times, and it's only with His help that they brought a beautiful and extremely special baby into this world, born in the roughest of situations, to bring ultimate glory to God on high.
"She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them."
No matter what hit them on their way to Bethlehem, they overcame it with God's help. And today, no matter what situations we are going through, be it financial difficulties, health problems, if you find yourself in a spiritual dessert or your marriage or home has been hit with problems you see no way out of, God can and will bring you through it.
His love is such that it overcame the temptation in the dessert, the discouragement of having his own people turn against Him, and the finality of death, to bring us into the victory that we can only have through Christ.
This Christmas, while we celebrate the birth of the most miraculous baby, don't forget that love that took Him to the cross for me and for you.
Keep shining xx