In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manager, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:1-7
This has been a crazy month. I’ve shared before that my grandmother (a.k.a, Mamaw) moved nearby our house this summer so we can care for her better. Which means her home of 52+ years has been on the market for months. I am so thankful to say we have a buyer and have been busy plugging away at a very long home inspection list, preparing the house for it’s new owner. We have also been working with the Veteran’s on Mamaw’s behalf. I haven’t had much experience working with a government agency before. Little did I know how challenging it could be. Brent, (a.k.a., my hero), has quarterbacked the business-side of Mamaw’s care. A job he inherited when he married lil’ ol me. Honestly, caring for a 90-year-old has been overwhelming and just down right hard at times. Paperwork and legal jargon….A long rollercoaster ride of yes’s, no’s and maybe’s. It has been a taxing process.
And on top of all of that, it’s now the holiday season. So much comes along with that, as you know. Lots to do. Lots to do.
I have read the Christmas story numerous times. Somewhat ignoring the first five verses of Luke 2. Reading them unintentionally and missing out on the details associated with Joseph.
Ah yes, Joseph. What a stud.
In those days a decree went out from Casar Augustus that all the world should be registered … And all went up to be registered, each to him own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea… (v.1-3)
This registration was something he had to do because the government said so. No buts about it. Gotta do it.
So there he went, being a man and rejecting passivity, “to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child (v.4).” (A child of which wasn’t even his. No, it was the Son of God. Just sayin’.)
(Can you imagine Joseph’s stress level? )
And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. (v. 6)
Mary, really? Your water did what? Here?!
And she gave birth to her firstborn son. (v. 7)
I remember the birth of my first child. Every. Single. Detail. Every emotion – My excitement. My uncertainty. Oh dear – Can you imagine being in Bethlehem, an unfamiliar city, on government business and having a baby! No place to go. Only a stable. With animals.
Sweet Joseph. He was steadfast. Trusting not in the comforts of a hospital staff or a midwife. But his heart was steadfast, trusting in the Lord. The Lord equipping him with everything he needed that night.
Joseph encourages me and challenges me, as well. I often entitle myself to a blissful, stress-free Christmas. My home smelling of cinnamon, presents neatly wrapped, cards promptly sent, kids jolly, obedient and eager to help. I sometimes assume that hardship should wait until after the first of the year. Take the holiday off.
But hardship doesn’t wait. Responsibility never rests. Business needs to be done. Even more so this time of year. It always has been this way. Even the very first Christmas.
I am thankful for Joseph’s example. Diving in headfirst to his duties, most of which were inherited by marriage and imposed on him by the government. He didn’t choose this. Yet, he didn’t argue. (Reminds me of you, Brent. Thank you so much.)
He just did what a man needed to do.
So amongst the busyness of this season, I will not hang my head, feeling sorry that I am “too busy to enjoy.” If anything, busyness is just part of it. Instead, I will anticipate the celebration as I scratch off my to-do list. The hustle and bustle only emphasizing the rest that December 25th brings.
Each strike of my pen a step closer to the night we light the last candle of Advent and rejoice that the baby, the Prince of Peace, was born.