... Even the worst heartaches can become heartstrings to God's hope, comfort, encouragement, joy, peace and love...

Welcome! As a fan of the cartoon character Maxine, I enjoy her witty remarks. But when I
read my blogs & other writing to her, she's not very responsive- even when I'm wearing my bunny slippers like hers! She just doesn't get it!
Although she's funnier than I am, I do pray that this site will bring encouragement to your day! I'd love to hear from you! Unlike Maxine, you can leave me a message via the Comments. Shalom, Connie


Monday, December 18, 2006

The Family Tree

The baby born to Mary would become "a man of sorrows... familiar with suffering." (Isaiah 53:3) Those hardships began before he was even born.

"Why now?" thought Joseph as he slowly walked home. He dreaded telling Mary that they would have to go to Bethlehem for the census reporting; it was going to be hard on her so close to her time. All the things she had made for the baby, the cradle he had made- none of it could go with them. Just a change of clothes and some food for the journey... they had room for no more. No family nor the old, but good midwife of Nazareth would be there to help Mary through the birth. "Why now, Lord?"

Gracious, sweet Mary reassured him that God would take of them. Holding her aching back she went inside to prepare for their journey. It would take a long time to cover the 90 miles to Bethlehem.

All was as planned- one writer said, "Taxes were as good as any reason to get the Holy Family to Bethlehem" for God had said through Micah that the Savior of the World would come out of the little town of Bethlehem and would be a relative of Kind David. (Micah 5:2)

Indeed both Mary and Joseph were of the house of David; their family tree is listed in scripture. By the way, that tree contained David, whom God loved, and Boaz, a righteous man, married to Ruth, a gentile. Even Jesus' lineage indicated that He came for all the world.

Joseph and Mary may have joined a caravan of other travelers also going to the place of their ancestry, but still it would have been a rugged trip. Whether walking or riding, Jesus was bouncing safely within Mary's womb. God would protect them, but that did not include making the trip any easier.

More tough times were ahead: no place to stay in Bethlehem, no easy birth, no royal garments,
Joseph would have to find work, Mary would feel all alone. Then another trip to escape into Egypt while the innocent male babies under 2 years old were being slaughtered by Roman soldiers.

The Christmas card nativity scenes do not show the reality of Jesus birth. Joseph muking out a stall and lining it with clean straw, the smells and sounds of the animals, a rural town unprepared for the large number of travelers, limited food and water, only strips of cloth to wrap the baby, the fear when smelly shepherds arrived.

And Mary pondered these things and tucked them away in her heart ...


Shalom, Connie

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