Have you ever wondered what happened in the days immediately following the birth of Jesus?
Did Joseph ever connect with his relatives? (Remember the reason that Mary and Joseph went there was because that was the original hometown of his family) And, did the clan accept Mary and the baby or were there raised eyebrows and frowns?
Did the people who lived near the stable come over and visit during the days that followed? Did they ask questions like, “Were those shepherds friends of yours?”
Did the owner of the inn offer them a discounted rate for the below standard housing option? Or, did he charge them extra for adding a third guest when only two had checked in?
I think that like most couples and most families, that the pressures, tensions and excitement of the previous few days both drew Mary and Joseph together and also strained their relationship.
There is a wonderful story of the early years of my parents’ marriage. Mom was trying to make their home special and Poppa helped. They both have tremendous talents to make amazing out of the ordinary. On the mission field, Poppa turned a discarded piece of gear into a working and energy-saving cement mixer. Mom, can turn a skein of yard or pieces of remnant fabric into beautiful scarves and blankets.
One day, after being married a short time, Poppa asked Mom if she would braid a square rug for their home. Now, Mom makes beautiful rugs. She turned old wool garment into beautiful, handcrafted rugs. And, her cotton rugs were beautiful and easily laundered. So, making a new braided rug was not a new project; but, making a square braided rug ended up being an impossible task. After struggling to make 90 degree corners, she asked Poppa to show her a home with a square rug in it so that she could examine it and learn how to make the troublesome corners. His reply was precious, “Oh, I’ve never seen one. I just thought that it would be neat.” Poppa just assumed that Mom could do anything!
They lived through that communication challenge and thousands of others in their 66 years of marriage.
But, Mary and Joseph were at the beginning of their married life at the time of Christ’s birth. I have absolutely no doubt that they had some issues.
For some families, the days after Christmas bring challenges. The holiday is over, the kids are still out of school and work hasn’t started back up again for those Monday-Friday jobs. For some, sugar craving is out of control…again. For others, no movie is enough of a distraction.
On these post-holiday days, remember this scripture: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Remember, God is still in control!
Jill (just one of God’s kids)