Tag Archives: nativity

A Peacemaker’s Advent: Mary and Joseph

Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.  But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”… When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.  Matthew 1:19-21, 23

 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.”  “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.  Luke 1:35-38

The Christmas story is filled with contrasts between those who rearranged their very lives in order to make room for the birth of the Messiah and those who either opposed His birth or were completely indifferent to it.  Mary and Joseph had their lives changed forever.  Their obedience and their ability to embrace a seemingly impossible circumstance set them apart.  Even more, it was their willingness to set aside their own pretty good plans in order to be obedient to God which makes them perfect …

Who’s Stealing Christmas from Whom?

Tuesday Re-mix:

While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”  Mark 2:15-17

stealing christmasI guess I am not a big fan of the whole “stealing Christmas” notion.  You know, the news stories about how this city or that school has outlawed nativity scenes and has thus “stolen Christmas” from those of us who are religious and who want those things in the public square.  Or that neighbors or co-workers have a “Holiday Tree” instead of a Christmas tree, and thus have stolen Christmas from us.  Or that our secular society makes more noise about the commercial side of the season than about the spiritual side and, thus, has somehow stolen Christmas from those of us who are spiritual.  The whole idea of “stealing” is that someone to whom the thing did NOT belong removed it from someone to whom the thing DID belong.  But, to whom does Christmas belong?  If it is all about the coming Christ child, for whom did He come?

It is clear enough why Jesus came.  “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”  This is clear not only because Jesus said this in such certain terms.  It is also clear by how he spent his time, and with whom he spent his time, and by how he taught, and by how he seemed …