I’ve been thinking about Mary and Joseph “the-day-after”. The whole scene at the manger has always intrigued me, what with total strangers showing up to celebrate, only to leave and tell everyone in town about it. So what about the days after? Well, Matthew tells us they presented Jesus for circumcision (as the Law required) and then went on their way. Think about what came next when they got “back to the house”; cleaning up, Joseph catching up at work, diaper changing, 2am feedings, all the stuff we call “life”. Except for some interesting guys showing up from the East, life was normal. I mean here they were nurturing God Himself in the flesh and life was just, well, boring. There were no shepherds knocking on the door, the wise men were heading back home and the neighbors were still gossiping about the timeline of marriage vs. Jesus’ birth. Here’s what I’m learning from it:
- God’s plan was at work while they did the “regular stuff” – As they got home and settled in, the Wise Men were on their journey (unlike most nativity scenes they came to the house, not the stable-Matt. 2). Perhaps along with the obvious of glorifying God by their visit, the expensive gifts provided funds for the not-yet-planned journey to Egypt (Matt. 2). Isn’t that just like God to have things working for our good without us even knowing? (Romans 8:28)
- Their testimony was faithfulness not fame – From everything we read in the Gospels, Joseph and Mary were identified for their faithful hearts, not skill-sets and that’s what they went back to…a quiet life of faithfulness. In a day when people of all descriptions are placed on pedestals, it’s easy to miss the powerful value of a heart that’s faithful to the Lord. From Jesus’ teaching, to Paul’s letters and the Revelation, we see an emphasis on faithfulness.
So as we move-on from the joy of Christmas Day, back to the “normal” stuff, think about Mary and Joseph. Let’s take the excitement of the time and let it fuel us into the New Year as we carry joy to the world!