Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in
this way, “When his mother Mary had been
betrothed to Joseph, before they came
together she was found to be with child
from the Holy Spirit.”
Matthew 1:18 ESV
According to the custom of the day, Mary and Joseph were betrothed. A legally binding contract had been signed and could be broken only through death or divorce. Although considered married, physical intimacy during this portion of a relationship was considered adultery, and the penalty for adultery—death!
The genealogy listed in Matthew 1:1-17 reveals Jesus’ legal claim to the throne of David. Jesus Messiah would be born of a virgin and raised by an earthly father whose heritage included patriarchs, a prostitute (Rahab) and a King (David).
I cannot imagine the emotional roller coaster of this young girl—from the excitement of betrothal to the unbelievable pregnancy without hope that anyone would believe she had committed no sin. The stares, whispers and judgment of others who did not know the truth would follow her as she walked through the crowds. Yet chosen by God, she faced her future knowing that this child growing inside of her was a gift of love from Yahweh, Jehovah, I AM.
As I read these words, written centuries ago, I am reminded of how often we look at another’s situation and make a mental judgment without full knowledge of the truth of their circumstances. And I wonder how much pain we cause others with our less than friendly “hello” and our fake fellowship.
It is Christmastime! What better gift could we give our Lord than to love one another with the same kind of love bestowed upon us by our Heavenly Father? I can think of no better way to celebrate Christmas than to spread the love of God throughout our homes, our families, our churches and our communities.
Today would be a good day to lay aside judgment without knowledge and really begin to love the unlovable people in our lives. It is the beginning of Christmas: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11 ESV)
©Joyce Powell 2013