25 Days of Christmas – Time to Face the Music
At this point in the journey we have seen Mary chosen by God to bear His son. We have watched as she visited her cousin Elizabeth. We have even gone through the birth of John the Baptist who would precede Jesus. By now Mary is roughly three or four months pregnant. The bible tells us that Elizabeth was six months pregnant when Mary went to visit her. It also said that Mary left right after accepting God’s commission on her life from the angel. Mary was pregnant with Jesus while engaged to Joseph when she left for her visit with Elizabeth.
By the time John was born and Mary returned back to Nazareth, she would be roughly three or four months along. Being a young girl herself, it’s very possible that she still wasn’t showing. We watch tv shows that talk about young girls who delivered a baby without even knowing they were pregnant. Not to mention the attire in Mary’s day could have easily hidden a growing belly, especially a small one. Now it comes to pass that Caesar Augustus issues a decree that they must register in the town of their birth, which for Joseph is Bethlehem. So Mary and Joseph head to Bethlehem to register as an engaged couple.
While in Bethlehem, Mary has her baby. Now, remember the earlier part of the story a few days ago, when the angel tells Joseph not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife because the child she is carrying is God’s son? If Mary and Joseph are still an engaged couple when they head out for Bethlehem, when do they get married? When exactly does Joseph find out she is pregnant? I’d wager it happened somewhere on that journey. Maybe it was the close traveling quarters that gave away her pregnancy. It would be easier to put her away in Bethlehem than in Nazareth. Did Joseph know before the trip? During? When the baby Jesus was due to show up? I don’t know. It’s not spelled out. But somewhere along the way Mary had to face the music. She had to deal with Joseph knowing the truth.
Mary had a bit of help on this journey. God sent an angel to Joseph to tell him that he should go ahead with the marriage. It was still Joseph’s prerogative as to whether he would go through with it or not. But Joseph was a man of God and he was also obedient to God and His plan. Not all of us get an angel to give us confirmation to do what might seem undoable. But due to the the love of God and His gracious plan, and the obedience of Mary and Joseph, we can have hope that when it comes our turn to face the music of judgement day, we can stand with Jesus and know He will stand with us.
As our nation mourns the loss of innocent children and the adults who cared for them to a senseless act of violence, let us remember the hope of Christmas. When it is your time to face the music, remember He stands with His children. Make sure that while you still have breath to choose, you choose Him.